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Internet Association and Consumer Technology Association File Amicus Brief In Support Of Uber

Highlights the importance of mobile contracts

Washington, DC – Today, the Internet Association and Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM announced the filing of an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in support of Uber Technologies, Inc. and the validity of mobile contracts.

The Internet Association and CTA argue in the brief that the court’s decision, “gave short shrift to the way in which consumers and internet- and mobile-based companies have been formulating contracts for years…” Should the district court’s decision be allowed to stand, the associations argue in the brief, the decision will threaten the many benefits of enforceable contracts signed via mobile device.

“Consumers want the convenience of mobile contracts and understand the enforceability of these agreements,” said Abigail Slater, General Counsel of the Internet Association. “Contracts signed via mobile device must be enforceable for the U.S. economy to benefit from future innovation online, and we hope the Court will reverse this unfortunate decision.”

A recent study from the Internet Association reports that the internet sector is responsible for nearly $1 trillion, or six percent of GDP. CTA finds that 19 percent of Americans rely on their smartphones for some access to the internet, and 10 percent of Americans access the internet mostly from their smartphones. Another study estimates that mobile commerce likely accounts for one-third of all online commerce in the United States and 40 percent worldwide.

“The ability to execute and enforce mobile contracts is fundamental to the online economy,” said Gary Shapiro, CEO and president of CTA. “The ease and convenience of mobile contracts greatly benefit users and innovators. We urge the court to reverse its decision.”

The brief states, “…mobile device usage is changing the way consumers are accessing the Internet, researching products and services, providing information to others, and contracting with companies. Consumers are able to do so on the go, untethered from their desktop computers or laptops, much less the brick and mortar locations of traditional consumer-facing companies. As consumers increasingly use their smartphones, all parties desire predictable and fair guidelines to direct their relationships, particularly in forming contracts.”

Finally, the brief argues that the court erred in its presumption against binding arbitration in contracts.

To read the full brief, click here.