Representatives of the world's leading companies met last week tocy in burgeoning sector. establish a consistent approach to e-commerce to prevent intervention from governments.
The first meeting of the Global Business Dialogue on E-commerce (GBDE), which took place in New York, brought together chief executives from the e-commerce sector, including AOL, IBM, Netscape, MCI Worldcom, Fujitsu, France Telecom and Bertelsmann. Marks & Spencer joined these companies in forming the steering committee.
The GBDE was formed in July 1998 in response to calls from European Commissioner Martin Bangemann. He believed the initiative was the best way to prevent government intervention on internet regulation and to achieve a global policy.
At the time Bangemann said: 'The private sector should take the lead by coming forward with its own proposals for removing the legal and technical uncertainties which are hampering the take-off of the global online economy.'
Nine working groups will focus on policy issues, such as protection of personal data, consumer confidence, liability, taxation and protection of intellectual property rights. These subjects will be addressed in a number of meetings over the next three months.
A representative of the steering committee said: 'Globalisation, the pace of innovation and the accelerating transformation of products and services in e-commerce mean we can't address internet business issues using traditional approaches. Governments should recognise the dangers that regulation would pose to their economies and societies and are challenging business to develop market-driven solutions to critical policy issues.'
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