E-commerce is transactions conducted via electronic means such as the internet, email and SMS. It is considered to be one of the most important aspects of the internet to appear. As a result, people are able to exchange goods and services immediately regardless of their geographic location and time. More and more businesses conduct transactions on line, with some trading purely on-line thus reducing overheads and administrative costs. There are two types of e-commerce, direct and indirect. Direct e-commerce is where services or goods can be delivered on line, such as music downloads. Indirect e-commerce is where goods and services ordered on line but delivered off-line, for example by post or courier. Whether direct or indirect, the potential benefits that e-commerce can bring to businesses and consumers are evident in terms of cost savings and convenience; however it has also brought various challenges and uncertainty to the formation and enforcement of contract and more importantly to the protection of consumer interests. With a view of protecting consumers thus promoting the development of e-commerce through renewed consumers’ confidence, the EU has adopted an array of Directives including the 1995 Data Protection Directive, the 1997 Distance Contracts Directive, the 1999 Electronic Signatures Directive, the 2000 E-Commerce Directive and the 2002 Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive and so on. UK’s legal framework governing e-commerce is established as a direct result of implementing the numbers of EU Directives.
The main regulations governing e-commerce in the UK
Needless to say, businesses engaging in e-commerce need to comply with the law governing traditional physical world transactions such as the Sale of Goods Act 1979, Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, The Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, The Consumer Protection Act 1987 and so on. In addition, they must ensure that...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document