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B2 B And B2 C Ethical, Legal And Regulatory Issues

1478 words - 6 pages

Every site on the web is different; no two are exactly alike despite if their topics are the same. Even if this is an obvious fact to some, it is still amazing how people sometimes tend to put all web sites in the same categories. Every site on the net serves different purposes. I'll examine the differences and similarities between how business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) websites deal with ethical, legal and regulatory issues.The only similarity I can conclude is that both B2B and B2C websites can be found on the net and that's where the similarity ends. These sites serve different markets and are ruled by very different ethical, legal and regulatory systems of operation.The B2B markets are other businesses and not consumers. Business needs and methods of payments are going to be different. B2B sites are designed to connect businesses electronically (Comerford, 2001). They also bring competing firms together to build electronic exchanges -- which are software systems enabling buyers and sellers to purchase goods and services through use of industry-wide computer systems (Comerford, 2001). B2B sites allow an increased efficiency between businesses and a better free market economy, leading to increased efficiency promotions (Comerford, 2001).B2C websites cater to the consumer and generally sell consumer goods and services. These sites tend to be more colorful, with special features, such as highlighted texts, texts of several sizes and possibly moving images, all this to appeal to and attract consumers.Contract formation is one issue the B2B websites face that their B2C counterparts do not. When it comes to contract formation in the "real world," two business associates get together, discuss the concept, sign contracts, probably shake one another's hands and move on. The contract is considered binding.Contract formation on the net is trickier because it is all done electronically. While there is an option to print out a contract, sign it and send it back, many times in this day and age, electronic signatures will do and they are just as binding as that signed in pen. According to the legal community, these electronic contracts are enforceable. Basically, as it is with off line contracts, the requirements for a binding contract on-line continue to be an offer and acceptance (Feather, 2002). If both parties agree to the offer and acceptance, the contract is definitely enforceable, no matter what format it was signed in. The basic consideration is the same as well -- consideration is the intention to create legal relationships (Feather, 2002).Another concern when it comes to B2B websites is the fear that the potential for collusion by B2B participants is strong (Comerford, 2001). There are ample opportunities for relationships to be built over the Internet (a lot easier and cheaper than in person), and to set up shop to exclude competition and to set up a specific monopoly.Because the Internet is not yet a regulated entity...

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