Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject Computer Science - Commercial Information Technology, grade: A (88%), UNITEC New Zealand (School of Information Systems and Computing), course: The Impact of Information Technology on Society, 31 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: 1 Introduction 1.1 Electronic Commerce, a Topic of current Interest Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is becoming more and more important in our world. In the beginning, only start-up companies tried doing online business, but today even the old economy has realized that e-commerce can be profitable and can make a company operate more efficiently. Despite the fall of many unprofitable Internet companies in the last months, many businesses still see ecommerce as an opportunity. Therefore, lots of companies have already taken or want to take part in e-commerce. If it is not because of making profits out of the online business immediately, it is due to the fear of missing the train and being left behind, when all other companies have successfully started selling their products or services over the Internet. Moreover, technology is changing very fast and not starting early can lead to a lack of experience, that is desperately needed later on, provided that the technology proofs to be a success. Of course, this strategy bears also a high risk. If the technology turns out to be a failure, it would have been better not to have rushed into it. However, the reasons for or against going into e-commerce should not be discussed in this report. Fact is, that many companies have started e-commerce and still today many others try to start online business successfully. As a result, e-commerce has quite a big impact on companies and their customers.