Third-Party Transactional Platforms of E-Commerce: A Trio of Power, Responsibility and Accountability
Global Legal Issues, Vol. 1, 2013
26 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2014
Date Written: December 29, 2013
The paper explores the salient features of the so-called "third-party transactional platforms" ("TPTPs") that provide the transanctional facilities, rules and related services to the transactional parties via its Internet information system. Although being not a party to any specific transaction between a seller and a buyer, a TPTP has actually "governed" all the subscribers and non-subscribers through its self-made transactional rules. As the nexus of e-commerce, the TPTPs acquire considerable power to regulate, define and affect the transactions and the stakeholders. It is arguable whether the TPTPs are becoming "global regulators" via their global operation and globally application of their transactional rules.
Despite their considerable de facto power on the Internet, TPTPs and their transactional rules are increasingly subject to the legal reviews, sanctions and even restrictions in the competent judicial or administrative proceedings of different countries. Through analyzing the dynamics of the TPTPs and the existing legal framework, the paper attempts to demonstrate that the TPTPs, in exercising their power, are gradually adapting to the legal and regulatory environment, and meanwhile their global operation is stimulating the creation of a new form of globalized accountability norms that should be equipped with necessary innovative check-and-balance system and social supervision to safeguard not only the interests of the stakeholders on the platforms but the interests of the public generally.
Keywords: E-Commerce, Platform, Transactional Rules
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