Frequent Targets of Unfair or Anticompetitive Behavior Claims

About a third of our cases involve large companies – sometimes we’re working with them, sometimes against them. Many of these companies are often targets of unfair or anticompetitive behavior claims. In pretrial research on those cases, we’ve often found that mock jurors with negative views about a company are more likely to render verdicts against that company.  However, there were also instances where the facts were so strong that mock jurors who expressed biases against the company before hearing the facts of the case rendered verdicts in favor of the company.

Knowing the strengths of the bias that the juror has, as well as the strengths of your case, are key to developing successful jury selection and case presentation strategies. Since many potential jurors interact with these well-known brands on a daily basis, it’s important to get an unvarnished understanding of their feelings about these companies.

The chart below ranks 11 well-known international companies from the most to least favorable:

 

Favorable and Unfavorable Opinions

Of the 11 companies, respondents had the most positive opinions of the technology device manufacturer, Samsung, with only 10% having unfavorable opinions of the company, and 90% having either “very favorable” (38%) or “somewhat favorable” (52%) opinions. 

Visa had almost identical ratings with 36% “very positive,” 54% “somewhat positive,” and only 10% of opinions being either “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable.  Mastercard, opinions had a similar distribution, with only 13% having negative opinions of Mastercard.

Eighty-two percent of the opinions about Microsoft, were “somewhat” or “very” favorable.  

Amazon and Google had the highest percentage of “very favorable” ratings with 41% and 39% respectively. 

Twenty-six percent of our sample had negative opinions of Apple. Still, the vast majority of the sample had positive opinions about Apple (74% of 956).

Lyft and Uber, two ride-share companies, had similar ratings with 33% and 35% negative opinions, respectively. Opinions of Lyft were slightly more favorable than those of Uber.

The least favorable opinions were of two of the biggest mainstream social media companies, Facebook and Twitter. Participants had mostly unfavorable opinions of Facebook (27% “somewhat unfavorable”, and 32% “very unfavorable”).

Twitter had the most unfavorable opinions of the 11 companies listed, with more than half (59%) of the respondents having an either “somewhat unfavorable”(27%)  or “very unfavorable” (32%) opinion of Twitter.

Seven of these 11 companies are headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.  (Visa, Alphabet/Google, Apple, Lyft, Uber, Facebook and Twitter.) For an overview of how some Silicon Valley companies are perceived in different areas of the country, see our post here.

This is the results of a national survey, and if you’re trying a case in a specific venue, it will be important to know whether the prevailing public opinion specific to that venue helps, or hurts, your case.  While the national opinions are often useful, we’ve also found that searching for news stories in the local press in the time leading up to trial can yield useful information about how companies are perceived within the venue.  If you’d like to know more about opinions of companies within specific venues, contact us.