The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 14, 2013

Marketplace Fairness Act not about fairness

The Marketplace Fairness Act is not about fairness. It is about revenue and regulatory capture by Internet giants.

It is said that Internet retailers have an advantage in that they don’t have to collect sales tax.

That may be an advantage, but it doesn’t necessarily offset the disadvantages of having to ship the product, and the inability of the buyer to inspect the merchandise before they buy.

Also, returning goods is a lot more difficult when they have to be repackaged and sent back. These facts level the playing field between storefront and Internet merchants.

If there is truly an advantage in Internet retailing, then storefront retailers can supplement their business with an Internet presence. Many do and they are likely to be adversely affected by this legislation.

What this act is going to do is wipe out a lot of variety of goods available to us and most likely a whole class of businesses. The Internet made it possible to produce and market items that would not be viable if

there were only sold through stores.

Budding entrepreneurs may now hesitate to pursue their ideas because of the additional hurdle imposed by the burden imposed by this act.

Some local Internet businesses may decide that these regulations are too much and quit.

The fact that there is a waiver for business with revenues under a million dollars is a tacit admission of how difficult complying with these regulations is going to be.

The giants like Amazon know this. Ask yourself why a company like Amazon would wish to complicate their business unless they knew it would take out a lot of competition.

Kim Spears

North Mankato

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