Electronic commerce is a collective term for a bunch of legal issues concerned with the trade of goods and services on the Internet. Many of the issues are linked with the formation of contract on the Internet, as well as with the basic contract mechanism. Key terms that describe the legal issues connected with the formation and performance of commerce on the Internet are electronic signatures and certification services, electronic payment systems and liability – together with special forms of commerce such as public procurement or auctions.
Traditionally, contract also deals with the sale or use of equipment for information processing or related services (e.g. telecommunications or software development) – these issues are often grouped under the imprecise heading of IT contracts. Liability issues are also examined, both contractual and extra-contractual, and both criminal and civil liability. Electronic commerce often presumes transactions across geographical borders. There are therefore often interlegal issues in such transactions (questions of jurisdiction and choice of law) and there is often need for a comparative law study.