Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce: A Symposium

May 24, 2006

A Symposium Presented by:
the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,
the George Mason University School of Law, 
& the Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy

Featuring Keynote Speaker: 
Kenneth Starr
Dean of Pepperdine University School of Law

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 day-long 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...

The papers from this symposium will be published in a special issue of the The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy:
 
The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy (JLEP) represents a unique undertaking. It is the first student-run journal of law and economics in legal academia. The journal serves as an outlet for the experience and interests of George Mason law students, including our Levy Fellows, who are economics Ph.D.'s currently working on their J.D.'s. Most importantly, it is structured as a cooperative journal. Although student-edited, the journal is peer-reviewed, ensuring that the published articles are of the highest quality.

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