It is no longer disputed that most companies in Germany and internationally can achieve a competitive advantage using internet and e-business technologies for business management and process support.
The processing of procurement procedures online (e-procurement) and the use of similar platforms (e-commerce) have in recent years gained considerable importance. The same is true for services that are on the Internet, but not delivered over the Web (such as Application Service Providing and Cloud Computing).
Here in particular, providers of such solutions have to observe many different legal requirements. These are both at the EU level and at the national level, and are developed through extensive case law. This also necessitates thorough terms and conditions for online businesses, which must meet stringent German legal requirements. In Germany some consumer protection groups and, in particular, competitors are entitled to warn of faulty legal protections or non-implementation of legal regulations, using legal assistance paid for by the “offending” company. These groups can through the courts even if necessary even force the company to end the unlawful conduct. Therefore, using standard contract terms borrowed from the terms and conditions used other countries carries substantial risk.
Particularly in the area of e-commerce, regulations give online businesses strict and detailed guidance. Understanding and complying with these regulations requires in-depth knowledge. Companies in the B2C sector in particular have to provide the consumer substantial amount of information and are required to implement and maintain regulated procedures concerning both e-commerce transactions as well those governing the structure and implementation of the internet presence. To that end, the terms and conditions as well as technical aspects of the website have to be designed with the assistance of personalized and qualified care.
We advise and assist businesses and entrepreneurs on all areas of law related to the use of Internet and e-business solutions, on supplier and customer side.
Dr. Marcus Dittmann