Electronic commerce, the Internet and computing promise new opportunities for businesses and services.  Unfortunately, Federal and State governments sometimes view the Internet and electronic commerce as a new platform for government-provided products and services for consumers in direct competition with private sector market participants.  These e-commerce ambitions by government entities are separate and distinct from e-government initiatives to digitize and modernize traditional governmental functions.

CCIA’s View:

CCIA views government efforts to launch competitive e-commerce initiatives with great trepidation. While we support government efforts to modernize operations, improve taxpayer services and utilize the tools and technologies of the Information Age, we cannot support the government as a competitor in commercial markets.  Such activity is antithetical to a successful free market and unfair to American taxpayers and shareholders of private businesses, who are forced to compete with publicly-funded government entities.

CCIA believes that the government injecting itself into the competitive software industry market with the goal of replacing private financial services will have new and far-reaching impacts, such as destabilizing competition, private investment and innovation.  The important goals of tax simplification and tax reform can be achieved without unnecessarily inserting the federal government into a new economic role currently played by the private technology sector.  Reduction of taxpayer burden can be achieved by non-monetary partnering with the private sector (through initiatives like the Free File Alliance) without reducing the essential citizen-centric and decentralized character of the U.S. voluntary compliance tax system.

Most Recent Statements&Findings:

CCIA Provides Remarks in Support of Maintaining Flexible, Adaptable Merger Guidelines at FTC-DOJ Listening Forum

Washington – As part of a broader series on the impact of mergers and acquisitions, the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week hosted a public listening forum on merger control with a focus on the technology industry. After submitting comments to the FTC and DOJ’s…

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New EU Distribution Rules Will Allow Discrimination Against Online Commerce

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission published the revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and associated Guidelines (VBER) today. This update sets the terms of trading between suppliers and their retailers or distributors for the next decade, both offline and online. The VBER is set to replace the current rules on 1 June 2022. The Computer…

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Groups Call on Congress to Address Concerns over Economic Harms of Proposed Antitrust Bills

Washington – A dozen organizations have penned a joint letter to lawmakers Wednesday to express concerns over the economic harms that proposed antitrust legislation will have on American consumers and businesses of all sizes. The broad, diverse, and bipartisan array of signatories includes the Council and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, TechNet, the Small…

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CCIA Offers Comments in Response to the FTC and DOJ’s Request for Information on Merger Enforcement

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association told the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice that the current merger guidelines provide clear practical guidance on when a transaction is likely to raise competition concerns, and that creating sector specific rules would lead to more confusion for companies and courts. The comments filed today…

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ICYMI: Experts Discuss Finding the Right Balance in Competition Enforcement and Start-up Acquisitions

Washington – FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips gave the keynote address at the Computer & Communications Industry Association’s annual panel on digital competition issues Tuesday ahead of  the American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Spring Meeting. Phillips told those at the lunch panel the two biggest antitrust changes he expects under the Biden administration FTC will be…

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