The aim of consumer protection laws is to address the grievances of the consumers and protecting them from the unethical practices/ behavior or unfair trade practices of the manufacturer/ supplier (Ananymous, 2003). The central issues of the sales of goods online and the law include the development of e-commerce, the role of consumers, and regulation of e-commerce in regards to consumer protection, as well as a general consideration of the international operation of e-commerce (Ananymous, 2003). E-commerce can be considered a new way of conducting business that takes place in the intangible world of the internet. It has become an important economic activity across the world, since Internet technology develops rapidly.
Australian governments have passed consumer protection legislation because they believe that the common law of contracts cannot adequately protect the consumer in today’s complex market place (Australian Government, 2010). Both the Commonwealth and State governments have legislation to provide greater protection to consumers in contractual. These include The Trade and Practices Act 1974(Cth) and The Sale of Goods Act 1923 (NSW) (Australian Government, 2010). These both deal with unfair contract terms law covering standard form contracts, guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services, and civil penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (The Treasury, 2010).
Any company that does business on the internet faces a variety of legal issues such as, forming contracts, abiding by consumer protection laws and creating privacy policies (Mykytyn, 2005). These issues are global in nature and constantly evolving. When purchasing goods the buyer enters into an agreement that is regulated by the Sale of goods law 1979 (amendment), changed by the Sale and supply of products law,
References: ACCC, 2010, accessed on 14th September 2010, Anonymous, 2003, ‘MNEs, globalisation and digital economy: Legal and economic aspects’, Managerial Law, vol.45, Iss.112, p 5. Australian Government, 2010, accessed on 7th September 2010, Beard, D, 2000, ‘International Virtual Contract’, Australian Business Law Review, vol Consumer Unity & Trust Society, 2008, ‘Consumer Rights and Its Expansion’, accessed on 10th September 2010, Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy, 2008, ‘Internet subscribers in Australia’, accessed on 10th September 2010, GFA Consulting Group, 2008, ‘Strengthening Consumer Protection in India’ accessed on 10th September 2010, Federal Trade Commission, 2009, ‘Shop Online’ accessed on 10th September 2010 Mykytyn, K, and Mykytyn, P, 2005, ‘The importance of the law for e-commerce strategies’, Information Systems Management, vol.22, p 50-57. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, unknown, accessed on 10th September 2010 Reinsch, R, 2005, ‘E-commerce: Managing the Legal Risks’, Managerial Law, vol.47, Iss.112, p 167.