Deceptive Marketing Practices: How Some Consumers Benefit When Others are Deceived

Deceptive Marketing Practices: How Some Consumers Benefit When Others are Deceived

Sean Durkin
Antitrust & Competition

In the Spring 2015 issue of the ABA's Economics Committee NewsletterSean Durkin discusses the impact of deceptive promotional practices on competition and prices paid by consumers. The analysis in this paper shows that deception that artificially raises the demand for some customers can induce sellers to compete more aggressively leading to lower prices for customers that are not deceived. This has implications for assessing whether deceptive promotional practices should be considered anticompetitive. It also has implications for class certification and damages issues in cases where allegedly deceptive promotional practices led to higher prices for a class of buyers even though not all class members were deceived. 

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