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The Electoral Impact

Tom Hymes
Recently, XBIZ World Magazine asked several industry players "How will the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election impact your business, if at all?"

Here's what they had to say:

As a European billing platform, Webbilling.com depends on the successful business of its merchants, which hail from both Europe and the Americas. I expect little or no impact on our European merchants; however, looming current issues of concern to U.S. merchants include obscenity prosecutions and the overall online adult entertainment environment, both of which can be affected by election results this year. Depending on the outcome of the election, I see a trend where more U.S. companies will move offshore to protect themselves from an unpredictable future. Today it is obscenity; tomorrow, who knows?

— Michael Reul, co-founder and senior partner, Webbilling.com B.V.

Being a small country, population-wise, Australia makes very little adult content and relies on the U.S. for the majority of product used by webmasters and sold in adult shops. Australia also has very Draconian online legislation that prohibits Australian ISPs from hosting adult content. This means most Australian-based adult websites are hosted in the U.S., so any change in censorship policies in the U.S. will affect our members. Most of our member's online subscribers (up to 90 percent) are based in the U.S. so any changes that affect a U.S. resident's access to adult material will have a big effect. On a broader perspective, the Bush administrations policies on overseas aid and abortion or prostitution have negatively affected many of our neighboring countries and particularly the sexual health and education of women in those countries. I hope an Obama administration will remove these restrictions on overseas health funding. You might be surprised to know that not a day goes by without every Australian newspaper running at least one article on the U.S. election lead up. Frankly, I will be very pleased when it is over. In Australia we have six-week campaigns rather than the 12 months that you put up with.

— Fiona Patten, executive officer, Eros Association

I always like change; it is good. With the new president, whoever it will be, there is definitely going to be a change, small or large, we will see. Our industry changes all the time and over the last few years we have seen fundamental changes in distribution and business models. I think with a big change such as electing a new U.S. president, it should follow that everyone will open their eyes to the fact that things change, everywhere. So I don't think change is negative, only challenging.

— Bjorn Skarlen, managing director, Commerce Gate

I don't believe this term's election will impact the industry very much. Both candidates are more liberal then past candidates and even when the current president came to power, which we all feared would be the worst for our industry, very little actually occurred.

— Platinum Dave, CEO, Platinum Bucks

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