GMU/ Mercatus Symposium: Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce

Cite this Article
Joshua D. Wright, GMU/ Mercatus Symposium: Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce, Truth on the Market (May 08, 2006),

GMU Law and the Mercatus Center are jointly presenting a symposium on “Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce,” Wednesday, May 24th from 8 am to 5pm. The symposium announcement is here. The agenda is here. Kenneth Starr is the keynote speaker and will be presenting his thoughts on “The Commerce Clause and E-Commerce.” Other speakers tentatively listed on the agenda include: Asheesh Agrawal, James Cooper, John Delacourt, Jerry Ellig, Rick Geddes, Michael Greve, Debra Holt, Dan Sutter, James Tanford, and Alan Wiseman. Here is an excerpt from the announcement:

Business-to-consumer e-commerce is one of the fastest growing business sectors in the American economy. As a result, industry-specific economic regulations, occupational licensing, franchising laws, and a variety of other practices are now under challenge from a new direction. High-profile lawsuits and policy battles involving e-commerce have occurred in industries as diverse as automobiles, wine, caskets, real estate, and contact lenses. In some cases, the bricks-and-mortar incumbents have responded by lobbying for laws or regulations that would protect them from Internet-based competition. Innovation in e-commerce is also calling into question many established policies that generally protect incumbents from new entrants – often in-state interests from out-of-state interests.

In light of these developments, court cases and Federal Trade Commission hearings have revealed that there is a paucity of economic and legal analysis focused on legal and regulatory barriers to e-commerce. To explore these new issues, and to stimulate research in this area, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in collaboration with the George Mason University School of Law, is holding a daylong symposium to allow prominent legal and economic scholars to present papers on topics such as: the current status of legal and regulatory barriers, their impact on consumers, their implications for competitive federalism, and more…