Competition Issues in Electronic Commerce

177 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2002

See all articles by Gary Hewitt

Gary Hewitt

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Competition Policy Division

Date Written: January 23, 2001


This document (of 177 pages) comprises the proceedings of an OECD roundtable on competition issues in electronic commerce, held at the OECD in October 2000.

There are many different frameworks for e-commerce and each could have different, not yet clearly identified pro- and anti-competitive effects. The Internet could dramatically lower search costs and thereby widen product and geographic markets. It could also lower business procurement costs and increase market liquidity. But there remains evidence of price dispersion in retail goods, although this may be temporary or transitional. It is possible that dominant e-marketplaces may emerge, which could employ exclusivity inducements. By making prices more transparent, e-commerce could also facilitate collusive behaviour. The international nature of e-commerce may have heightened the need for international co-operation between competition enforcers.

This document consists of an executive summary and issues paper by the Secretariat, 10 delegation submissions, and a summary of the oral discussion.

Note: Abstract supplied by Darryl Biggar

Keywords: B2b, B2C, e-commerce, search costs

JEL Classification: L40, L86

Suggested Citation

Hewitt, Gary, Competition Issues in Electronic Commerce (January 23, 2001). Available at SSRN: or

Gary Hewitt (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Competition Policy Division ( email )

2, Rue Andre-Pascal
Paris, 75775
+33-1-45-24-17-51 (Phone)
+33-1-45-24-96-95 (Fax)

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