Web Retailer’s Browsewrap Agreement Found Insufficient to Compel Arbitration
Long v. Provide Commerce, Inc.
2016 WL 1056555
March 17, 2016
In reaching its decision, the Appellate Court noted “Under both federal and state law, the threshold question presented by a petition to compel arbitration is whether there is an agreement to arbitrate . . . This threshold inquiry stems from the basic premise that arbitration is consensual in nature . . . The fundamental assumption of arbitration is that it may be invoked as an alternative to the settlement of disputes through the judicial process ‘solely by reason of an exercise of choice by [all] parties.'”
In applying these standards to internet purchases, the court stated “This requirement applies with equal force to arbitration provisions contained in contracts purportedly formed over the Internet. While Internet commerce has exposed courts to many new situations, it has not fundamentally changed the requirement that mutual manifestation of assent, whether by written or spoken word or by conduct, is the touchstone of contract.”
Finally, the court noted: