The Federal Trade Commission is to launch an investigation into anti-competitive practices in the e-commerce industry, which it believes may cost consumers over $15 billion (€15bn; £9.6bn) a year.
Among the issues the FTC will probe are the failure of bricks-and-mortar businesses with e-commerce operations to offer all their products or list all their prices online and their encouragement of rivals to do likewise.
The regulator will also investigate the ban in some states on internet sales of products such as cars, real estate, healthcare, wine, drugs and mortgages.
“All of these restrictions may contribute to sound public policy,” declared the FTC, “or they may constitute attempts by existing industries to forestall the entry of internet competitors and impede new forms of competition.”
Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff