Governance of Electronic Commerce in Consumer and Business Markets
GOVERNANCE, REGULATIONS AND POWERS ON THE INTERNET, E. Brousseau, M. Marzouki, C. Méadel, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2008
17 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2008 Last revised: 3 Aug 2014
Date Written: September 2008
Contract law provides a framework within which economic relationships can be established and administered, while electronic commerce (e-commerce) provides tools for reducing the costs of those activities. Application of traditional contract law concepts to e-commerce may result in uncertainty which may diminish the efficiency gains from technological innovation. This paper looks at the impact of e-commerce on the governance structures of commercial relationships generally, and in three specific major areas of commercial activity that have been most affected by e-commerce in recent decades. With regard to business-to-consumer electronic commerce and issues related to the security of e-commerce (including electronic signatures), "liberal market economies" (LME) such as the US have treated the growth of e-commerce as an opportunity for further deregulation of markets, while "coordinated market economies" (CME) including most EU members have responded with significant new regulations. By contrast, both LMEs and CMEs have allowed market forces to determine the direction of business-to-business e-commerce developments.
Keywords: electronic commerce, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, electronic signature
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