Electronic commerce (“e-commerce”) can be defined as business occurring over networks using non-proprietary protocols established through an open standard setting process. Internet mediated ecommerce is the fastest growing part of the phenomenon and was the focus of the Competition Law and Policy’s roundtable discussion on the topic. Although e-commerce does not seem to raise any truly new or unique competition issues, it may well have already created a need for greater co-operation among national competition authorities and for new investigatory powers and enforcement skills. Guidelines intended to enhance compliance may also need to be supplemented so that executives are better aware of new competition risks posed by e-commerce and how to avoid those while at the same time engaging in vigorous competition. Considering the discussion at the roundtable, the delegate submissions, and the background paper, a number of key points emerge.
Competition Issues in Electronic Commerce