Firms use standard contracts and possibly include unfavorable fine print which consumers may read at some positive cost. We propose a comparison between a monopoly and a perfect competition market under (1) an unregulated legal regime (duty to read) and (2) a regulation that mandates clause disclosure (duty to disclose). If consumers bear the duty to read contract terms, regardless of market structure, sellers disclose in equilibrium only if it is cheaper than reading for consumers. Conversely, if sellers bear the duty to disclose contract terms, then such regulation is never welfare improving in either market; it may turn out to be consumer protective only if there are several sellers, whereas it is uneffective on this regard in a monopoly.

Duty to Read vs Duty to Disclose Fine Print. Does the Market Structure Matter?

D'Agostino, Elena
Primo
;
Sobbrio, Giuseppe
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Firms use standard contracts and possibly include unfavorable fine print which consumers may read at some positive cost. We propose a comparison between a monopoly and a perfect competition market under (1) an unregulated legal regime (duty to read) and (2) a regulation that mandates clause disclosure (duty to disclose). If consumers bear the duty to read contract terms, regardless of market structure, sellers disclose in equilibrium only if it is cheaper than reading for consumers. Conversely, if sellers bear the duty to disclose contract terms, then such regulation is never welfare improving in either market; it may turn out to be consumer protective only if there are several sellers, whereas it is uneffective on this regard in a monopoly.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3215836
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