A new lobbying group seeking to defend electronic commerce from unwarranted government intrusion is being launched in Washington D.C. Thursday.
NetChoice, which represents e-commerce trade associations and Internet-based companies, has the purpose of "defending on-line businesses against efforts to stifle Internet-based competition with protectionist legislation or regulation," the group said in a statement.
Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Representative Jerry Weller, an Illinois Republican, lent their support to the effort. E-commerce and the Internet should be "tax free, regulation free and trade barrier free, a place where consumers decide who wins and loses in the marketplace," Weller said, according to the statement.
Regulatory measures put in place to protect brick-and-mortar companies from online competition cost U.S. consumers some US$15 billion a year in higher prices for goods and services, according to an estimate by the Progressive Policy Institute, whose vice president, Robert Atkinson, is helping launch NetChoice.
Among the founding members of NetChoice are the Association for Competitive Technology, BizLand Inc., eBay, Electronic Commerce Association, Electronic Retailers Association, eRealty Inc., GCEMarket Inc., Information Technology Association of America, NetClerk Inc., Network Steel Distribution, OnlineMetals.com, Orbitz LLC, Shardan International Inc., and Weblens.net.