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Oftel, the Winged Watchdog, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) are to canvas the e-industry on the future of e-commerce and what can be done to promote its development. The exercise is in response to a government report, e-commerce@its.best.uk, and seeks to identify barriers to competition and what can be done to overcome them. The consultation document, Competition in e-commerce: a joint OFTEL and OFT study, sets out the way markets are likely to develop as a result and at how companies could evolve to take advantage of these new technologies. Commenting on the launch of the study Margaret Bloom, the OFT's director of Competition Policy, said: "We will take action where necessary to prevent anti-competitive behaviour whilst promoting innovation and competition in the e-commerce marketplace." Questions being asked include: "Will unmetered access prove popular and how will it change users' behaviour?", "What are your views on the role of OFT and Oftel in e-commerce markets?" and "Do you have views on whether the powers OFT and Oftel have to intervene are adequate?" Answers on an e-postcard to Barbara Powell, at the OFT or Oftel's Ilsa Godlovitch. Oh, and make sure they arrive by 12 June. ® Link The Competition in e-commerce: a joint OFTEL and OFT study consultation document can be found here.

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