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:

The Spectrum Crunch and Why AT&T Deal Review Delays Relief

How should the government free up bandwidth and balance the interests of those involved? Panelists weighed in at a Brookings Institution event Wednesday “A Framework for Innovative Federal Spectrum Policy.” Panelists including James Cicconi of AT&T, Blair Levin of the Aspen Insitute, Adele Morris of the Brookings Institute, Richard Whitt of Google, and Roger Entner…

Read more

Websites and the “Natural Monopoly” Myth

Over the past few years there has been a tendency, especially by those in the financial press, to play it fast and loose with economic jargon. Buzzwords replace actual understanding of issues and the fourth estate transmits these so-called truisms to the public. This can be highly misleading, and often it proves dangerous, especially if…

Read more

Websites and the "Natural Monopoly" Myth

Over the past few years there has been a tendency, especially by those in the financial press, to play it fast and loose with economic jargon. Buzzwords replace actual understanding of issues and the fourth estate transmits these so-called truisms to the public. This can be highly misleading, and often it proves dangerous, especially if…

Read more

Concerns Over Comcast Merger

Late last month FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski began circulating an order approving the proposed merger of Comcast with NBC Universal. Throughout the regulatory approval process lawmakers, industry groups, and consumer advocates have called on the FCC and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to block the proposed combination because it provides no public interest benefits,…

Read more