Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following: J & R Research. The Commission vote to finalize the consent order was 5-0. (File No. 972-3234; staff contact is Matthew Gold, FTC Western Region, 415-356-5276; see press release dated May 11, 2000.)
The Commission has authorized the release of the following staff report: Economic Perspectives on the Internet. The report, written by Alan E. Wiseman of the FTC's Bureau of Economics and part of the Bureau's "Economic Issues" series, draws on recent Internet-related economic scholarship, and more traditional studies of pricing practices and market structure, to consider some economic and policy issues in this rapidly changing marketplace, and suggests some areas for future research. It argues that "the rapid growth of the 'Information Economy' has drastically changed the manner in which commercial transactions are conducted."
The first of five sections provides a brief technical overview of the Internet and discusses the transmission technologies it employs. In the second section, different methods and some theoretical models for pricing user access to the Internet are presented. The third section examines economic theory surrounding the pricing of goods and services on the Internet, including the efficiencies created by this developing technology. The fourth section examines the role of "network externalities" in the development of the Internet, and how such effects might affect firms' activities. Such externalities arise in considering network interconnection agreements, as well as standards to be adopted by emerging technologies such as digital media.Finally, the report considers the issue of taxation of Internet commerce, discussing the relevant political, legal, and economic concepts behind this fast-evolving topic.
As a staff report, it does not necessarily represent the views of the Commission or of any individual Commissioner.
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; toll free: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
Office of Public Affairs