Industry Leaders to Gather in France for E-Commerce Summit

A group of major Internet companies from all continents plans to offer governments and international organizations its e-commerce expertise in a conference at Paris’ famed Louvre museum.

The group — calling itself the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce — has slated the conference for September 13th and hopes to act as “the global voice of Internet industrialists” on e-commerce issues.

The group consists of the CEOs of 29 companies, including EDS, IBM, Time Warner and MCI, among 10 from North America. The 11 companies from Europe and Africa include Bertelsmann AG, Deutsche Bank and France Telecom, while NEC, Fujitsu and Korea Telecom head a list of eight from Asia and Oceania.

Comprehensive Platform

The GBDe says it wants to “address political decision makers around the world in a unified fashion, suggesting ways to avoid conflicting policies and patchwork legislation.” In areas where regulation is unavoidable, the companies want to help the governments develop self-regulatory systems that will be efficient and send the right message to consumers — that Internet businesses care about them.

The group’s priorities include intellectual property rights, liability, authentication and security, protection of personal data, tax and tariffs, developing information infrastructures jurisdiction, content and commercial communications and consumer confidence. “These key issues are addressed globally through a geographically balanced, transparent and open process, which takes account of the expertise of existing forums and reaches out to companies from all countries,” the group said.

As might be expected from a group of cutting edge technology companies, GBDe teams set up to address each of those areas meet regularly in private “meeting rooms” on the GBDe Web site.

Discussions of all these issues are already going on among and between industry groups and governments around the world, the GBDe says. Its role is to help the results of those discussions reach a global forum, through conferences like the September Louvre gathering. “Creating such a framework will require commitment and cooperation on the part of the industry, governments and international governmental/non-governmental organizations. Nevertheless, because of the skills, commitment and leadership represented among our companies, we are convinced that we can work together to realize the full potential of e-commerce to create jobs, increase prosperity and benefit consumers,” the group said.

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