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Consumer Protection Law

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

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Six Scandals: Why We Need Consumer Protection Laws Instead Of Just Markets, Jeff Sovern Sep 2021

Six Scandals: Why We Need Consumer Protection Laws Instead Of Just Markets, Jeff Sovern

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Markets are powerful mechanisms for serving consumers. Some critics of regulation have suggested that markets also provide consumer protection. For example, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said “Consumers don’t have to be hemmed in by rules and regulations. They’re protected by the market itself.” This Article’s first goal is to test the claim that the market provides consumer protection by examining several recent incidents in which companies mistreated consumers and then explores whether consumers stopped patronizing the companies, which would deter misconduct. The issue also has normative implications because if markets consistently protected consumers, society would need fewer regulations and …