Last year, according to IDC analysts, Texas consumers spent $3.2 billion on the Internet. Only California consumers spent more, at $5.9 billion. According to Interactive Week Online, the November 1999 rankings of the top revenue-generators on the Internet indicated that traditional brick-and-mortar companies dominated the list, with Amazon.com as the only pure online entity in the top 10. This shows that it is primarily mainstream, traditional companies taking advantage of the efficiency and access to new markets the Internet provides. This also means you can expect that most of your commercial clients either are doing business over the Internet or plan to do so soon. The push to do business on the Internet is driving the market for e-commerce legal expertise and requiring e-commerce practice to become more integrated into general corporate law practice.

As technology has continued to advance and push the boundaries of banks’ existing regulatory and compliance framework, it has also led to major efforts to modernize the U.S. financial services industry, such as the sweeping provisions contained in the Financial Modernization Act of 1999. Had it not been for the growing use of advanced technologies, including e-commerce, in banking, the impetus for such regulations probably would never have surfaced. The rapid technological push demanded by e-commerce has resulted in a proliferation of information about every aspect of online transactions, causing a great deal of concern about how that information is used. Undoubtedly, the continued introduction of technologies will fuel more privacy-related litigation and legislation.

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