B2B and B2C Ethical, Legal and Regulatory Issues

Essay by tlhuttonUniversity, Bachelor's January 2006

download word file, 5 pages 4.8

The Internet has become a fixture in the global marketplace. In order to remain competitive, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses must have an Internet presence, and in many cases, must be able to conduct e-commerce via the Web. For B2B businesses, the demand comes not only from customers, but from trade and supply chain partners. The Web has precipitated a whole new age in terms of what it means to share information and to transact business. And though doing business via the Internet is not necessarily new, the ethical, legal and regulatory issues are still coming to light. Issues that existed in the traditional brick and mortar, paper and ink-driven world of conducting business still exist, but with many new dimensions that transcend traditional methods for regulation and control of business conduct.

Regulating Consumer Protection

Consumer protection represents one of the differences between B2B and B2C regulatory concerns. Dictionary.com

defines a consumer as "one that consumes, especially one that acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing (2006)." Therefore, consumer protection is primarily an issue for the B2C model of doing business, and is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC's goal is "to protect consumers in an atmosphere that promotes the growth of e-commerce, (FTC, 1999)." Enforcement tools used by the FTC include existing statutes and rules already in place from traditional commerce, and developing policies in areas that "raise new consumer protection concerns, such as online privacy and global electronic commerce (FTC, 1999)." The greatest challenge for consumer protection enforcement is the global nature of the Internet. The FTC's jurisdiction is limited to the United States.

One program that is "promoting trust and confidence on the Internet" (BBBOnline, 2006) is a Better Business...