|Date: 10/06/2002 05:42 pm
Subject: comments on barriers to e-commerce
Date: October 6, 2002
To: Ted Cruz, Director, Office of Policy
From: Bert Foer, President, American
Re: Materials Relating to "Possible
Anticompetitive Efforts to Restrict Competition on the Internet"
Thank you for your letter of September 26 inviting
information relating to barriers to e-commerce competition, for the FTC
Workshop on October 8-10. We would like to call your attention to the
following materials produced by the American Antitrust Institute.
These are comments we filed in the contact lens class action settlement.
They raise questions relating to remedy in cases where a major supplier
cuts off supplies to an e-commerce customer whose traditional
competitors (in this case primarily eye doctors) have complained.
This is an article that I published in the Journal of Public Policy and
Marketing titled "E-Commerce Meets Antitrust: A Primer."
http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/recent2/204.cfm. At this site you
will find three papers we recently presented at a workshop AAI
co-sponsored with the National Consumers League on "Supplier-Owned Joint
Ventures." The papers deal with industries in which e-commerce companies
are having difficulty competing against joint ventures that have been
established by their suppliers. The industries considered in these
papers are: travel, music, movies, currency exchange, hotels, and
cosmetics. We have tried to draw attention to patterns of collaborative
activity that are likely to undermine new electronic entrants.
I am hopeful that my schedule will permit me to
observe parts of the workshop. The two earlier B2B workshops played an
important role in informing the Commission and the public about dynamic
developments in the economy, calling special attention to areas of
potential danger. I am sure that your upcoming workshop will continue this
outstanding example of the FTC's flexible authority for monitoring and
influencing events that affect consumers and competition.