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Regulatory innovation and the online consumer

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The explosion of usage of the Internet has caused considerable anxiety concerning the capacity of states to fulfil the functions they have developed in protecting consumers. Online business is booming in many sectors. Key examples, investigated in this article, are online investing, Internet gambling, and e-shopping (sale of goods via the Internet). The article suggests that the high-level discourse of regulatory reform and innovation has been focused on what may be done with state instruments and agencies to address the problems. We argue for adjusting the focus and offer an analysis of examples of non-state mechanisms and actors with the potential to enhance regulatory protections.

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