Internet Sales Tax Needed to Level Playing Field: Analyst

An Internet sales tax would eliminate most sales on the Web, a Wall Street analyst said Thursday, because it would put e-retailers on a level playing field with brick-and-mortar stores.

Janney Montgomery analyst David Strasser said retailers are having difficulty competing against e-retailers, which charge no sales tax. Internet stores charge no add-on fees and most even offer free delivery. But should an Internet sales tax be imposed, Strasser thinks online sales would dwindle, if not disappear completely.

"If it does happen, I actually think a lot of the people selling TVs online will no longer be doing it because there will be no reason to buy from them," Strasser said. "It's just they don't have the pricing ability that a Best Buy or a Walmart would have."

CNBC's Melissa Lee noted that many people browse books at Barnes & Noble , for example, but then buy the book on . She wonders why an electronics retailer like Best Buy wouldn't go the way of Amazon and simply sell goods online.

Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso said people are "lazy" and don't want the hassle of buying electronics on the Internet. Most electronics are high-dollar purchases, so should something go wrong, people want to be able to return it to a physical store right away.

Regardless, Strasser said most brick-and-mortar retailers are growing their business online. Best Buy, for example, is experiencing double-digit growth in that area.


Oracle, the fifth largest tech company in the U.S., is set to report third-quarter earnings after Thursday's closing bell.

So what are investors looking to hear from this tech titan ? For answers, the "Fast Money" desk turned to Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard. Watch the video to see the complete conversation.

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