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Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Issues Differ on B2c Vs. B2b Paper

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In order to evaluate the differences between a B2C site and a B2B site it is required to know what B2C and B2B represent. B2C is a consumer that shops on the Web and a B2B is a transaction conducted between businesses on the Web (Schneider, 2004). Reviewing ethical, legal and regulatory will provide a better understanding of what the requirements are for a B2B and B2C site. According to dictionary.com, ethical is being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession. Legal is defined as in conformity with or permitted by law and regulatory is identified, to control or direct according to rule, principle, or law (dictionary.com).

When providing services either on a B2C site or B2B site there is ethical responsibilities, laws and regulations that each organization/company must follow in order to stay in compliance. There is increasing acceptance that consumer trust is a key foundation for electronic commerce success. If the consumer cannot develop some sense of confidence in the vendor’s competence, predictability, benevolence and integrity, then the consumer is likely to abort the purchase and simply look elsewhere for a more trustworthy alternative (McKnight, Chervany, 2002).

When an organization determines that e-commerce is an option that is going to be offered to consumers, the organization needs to realize that as a whole the organization is going to be exposed to new risks, such as, fraud and viruses. Regulatory mechanisms for e-business are not yet in place in many countries. This causes B2B and B2C sites to be based around trust, trust in the organization that has been chosen, either for business or consumer purposes (Chaker, 2005).

Many B2C Web sites are segmented along ethnic lines (Latino.com, Sino.com etc), horizontally along age groups (kids.com, parents.com), horizontally along incomes (Autotrade.com, eTrade, eBay), and care out a niche (WebMD.com, wine.com). This kind of disequilibrium stems from rapid changes in technology and may causes a paradigm shift (Chaker, 2005). However, all organizations need to still be conscience of the ethical, legal, and regulatory issues that may arise because of these shifts.

Web-based organizations are realizing that it is imperative that ethical, legal, and regulatory issues are important to consider when policy decisions are being considered. Ethical examples could be when Amazon.com’s reputation was put on the line by The New York Times. The New York Times ran the story that disclosed Amazon.com’s arrangements with publishers for book promotions. Amazon.com was accepting payments of up to $10,000 from publishers to give their books editorial reviews and placement on lists that recommended the books as part of a cooperative advertising program. When the news broke, Amazon.com issued a statement that it had done nothing wrong and that such advertising programs were a standard part of publisher-bookstore relationships. After two-days and before it hit mass media outlets, Amazon.com announced that it would end the practice and offer unconditional refunds to any customers who had purchased a promoted book. In essence, Amazon.com legally had done nothing wrong; however, the practice appeared to be unethical to many of its existing and potential consumers (Schneider, 2004).

When dealing with regulatory issues on B2B and B2C sites, the organization needs

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