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Full-Text Articles in Law

Taking It With You: Platform Barriers To Entry And The Limits Of Data Portability, Gabriel Nicholas Apr 2021

Taking It With You: Platform Barriers To Entry And The Limits Of Data Portability, Gabriel Nicholas

Michigan Technology Law Review

Policymakers are faced with a vexing problem: how to increase competition in a tech sector dominated by a few giants. One answer proposed and adopted by regulators in the United States and abroad is to require large platforms to allow consumers to move their data from one platform to another, an approach known as data portability. Facebook, Google, Apple, and other major tech companies have enthusiastically supported data portability through their own technical and political initiatives. Today, data portability has taken hold as one of the go-to solutions to address the tech industry’s competition concerns.

This Article argues that despite …


The Rental Crisis Will Not Be Televised: The Case For Protecting Tenants Under Consumer Protection Regimes, Eric Sirota Apr 2021

The Rental Crisis Will Not Be Televised: The Case For Protecting Tenants Under Consumer Protection Regimes, Eric Sirota

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Foreclosure Crisis of the 2000s has likely hurt renters more than homeowners. Incongruously, however, consumer enforcement agencies have been far more zealous in protecting mortgagors than tenants. This Article explores the under-protection of tenants as a class of consumers, particularly in a “commoditized” rental market, and examines how consumer enforcement agencies can more zealously incorporate tenant-protection into their mandates.

Much of the prior literature on the legal protections afforded tenants was published in the wake of the consumer rights revolution of the 1970s. This Article is the first to carefully reexamine, in the context of the modern rental market, …


Smart Cars, Telematics And Repair, Leah Chan Grinvald, Ofer Tur-Sinai Jan 2021

Smart Cars, Telematics And Repair, Leah Chan Grinvald, Ofer Tur-Sinai

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Recent years have seen a surge in the use of automotive telematics. Telematics is the integration of telecommunications and informatics technologies. Using telematics in cars enables transmission of data communications between the car and other systems or devices. This opens up a wide range of possibilities, including the prospect of conducting remote diagnostics based on real-time access to the vehicle. Yet, as with any new technology, alongside its potential benefits, the use of automotive telematics could also have potential downsides. This Article explores the significant negative impact that the growing reliance on telematics systems could have on competition in the …


Who Gets To Operate On Herbie? Right To Repair Legislation In The Context Of Automated Vehicles, Jennifer J. Huseby Jan 2020

Who Gets To Operate On Herbie? Right To Repair Legislation In The Context Of Automated Vehicles, Jennifer J. Huseby

Journal of Law and Mobility

You bought it, you own it, but do you have the right to repair it? As right-to-repair remains a hot topic in the context of consumer electronics such as smartphones, one must consider the ramifications it may have for the automated vehicle (“AV”) industry. As the backdrop for one of the first legislative victories for right-to-repair, the automobile industry has continued to push for the expansion of right-to-repair to cover increased access to telematics and exceptions to proprietary software controls. However, as we revisit the issue for more highly connected and automated vehicles, it is important to assess the unique …


Books And Olive Oil: Why Antitrust Must Deal With Consolidated Corporate Power, Carl T. Bogus Jan 2019

Books And Olive Oil: Why Antitrust Must Deal With Consolidated Corporate Power, Carl T. Bogus

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Following an epic battle in the marketplace between Apple and major book publishers, on one side, and Amazon, on the other side, the United States Department of Justice and thirty-three states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and the publishers, alleging that they had conspired to fix the prices of ebooks. Both the district court and a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided the case in the government’s favor. This Article argues that government regulators and the courts took the wrong side in the dispute and did so because of fundamental flaws …


Let’S Be Reasonable: The Consumer Expectations Test Is Simply Not Viable To Determine Design Defect For Complex Autonomous Vehicle Technology, Emily Frascaroli, John Isaac Southerland, Elizabeth Davis, Woods Parker Jan 2019

Let’S Be Reasonable: The Consumer Expectations Test Is Simply Not Viable To Determine Design Defect For Complex Autonomous Vehicle Technology, Emily Frascaroli, John Isaac Southerland, Elizabeth Davis, Woods Parker

Journal of Law and Mobility

Although highly automated vehicles (“HAVs”) have potential to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes, product liability litigation for design defects in vehicles incorporating autonomous technology is inevitable. During the early stages of implementation, courts and juries will be forced to grapple with the application of traditional product liability principles to a never before experienced category of highly technical products. Recent decisions limiting the use of the consumer expectations test in cases involving complex products prompted the authors to examine more closely the history behind and the future viability of the consumer expectations test in HAV litigation.


A Post-Spokeo Taxonomy Of Intangible Harms, Jackson Erpenbach Jan 2019

A Post-Spokeo Taxonomy Of Intangible Harms, Jackson Erpenbach

Michigan Law Review

Article III standing is a central requirement in federal litigation. The Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision marked a significant development in the doctrine, dividing the concrete injury-in-fact requirement into two subsets: tangible and intangible harms. While tangible harms are easily cognizable, plaintiffs alleging intangible harms can face a perilous path to court. This raises particular concern for the system of federal consumer protection laws where enforcement relies on consumers vindicating their own rights by filing suit when companies violate federal law. These plaintiffs must often allege intangible harms arising out of their statutorily guaranteed rights. This Note demonstrates that Spokeo’s …


Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo Jan 2019

Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo

Michigan Law Review

Google’s, Apple’s, and other companies’ automated assistants are increasingly serving as personal shoppers. These digital intermediaries will save us time by purchasing grocery items, transferring bank accounts, and subscribing to cable. The literature has only begun to hint at the paradigm shift needed to navigate the legal risks and rewards of this coming era of automated commerce. This Article begins to fill that gap by surveying legal battles related to contract exit, data access, and deception that will determine the extent to which automated assistants are able to help consumers to search and switch, potentially bringing tremendous societal benefits. Whereas …


Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder Jan 2018

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder

Michigan Law Review

In today’s economy, consumers demand experiences. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, fans do not just want to watch or read about their favorite characters— they want to be them. They don the robes of Gryffindor, flick their wands, and drink the butterbeer. The owners of fantasy properties understand this, expanding their offerings from light sabers to the Galaxy’s Edge®, the new Disney Star Wars immersive theme park opening in 2019.Since Star Wars, Congress and the courts have abetted what is now a $262 billion-a-year industry in merchandising, fashioning “merchandising rights” appurtenant to copyrights and trademarks that give fantasy owners …


Do We Need Help Using Yelp? Regulating Advertising On Mediated Reputation Systems, David Adam Friedman Nov 2017

Do We Need Help Using Yelp? Regulating Advertising On Mediated Reputation Systems, David Adam Friedman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Yelp, Angie’s List, Avvo, and similar entities enable consumers to access an incredibly useful trove of information about peer experiences with businesses and their goods and services. These “mediated reputation systems,” gatherers and disseminators of consumer peer opinions, are more trusted by consumers than traditional commercial channels. They are omnipresent, carried everywhere on mobile devices, and used by consumers ready to transact.

Though this information is valuable, a troubling conflict emerges in its presentation. Most of these reputation platforms rely heavily on advertising sales to support their business models. This reliance compels these entities to display persuasive advertising right along …


Consumer Preferences For Performance Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito Oct 2016

Consumer Preferences For Performance Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Commercial law in the United States is designed to facilitate private transactions, and thus to enforce the presumed intent of the parties, who generally are free to negotiate the terms they choose. But these contracts inevitably have gaps, both because the parties cannot anticipate every situation that might arise from their relationship, and because negotiation is not costless. When courts are faced with these gaps in a litigation context, they supply default terms to fill them. These defaults usually are set to reflect what courts believe similar parties would have agreed to if they had addressed the issue. These “majoritarian” …


Incentive Regulation, New Business Models, And The Transformation Of The Electric Power Industry, Inara Scott May 2016

Incentive Regulation, New Business Models, And The Transformation Of The Electric Power Industry, Inara Scott

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The electric utility sector is in the midst of paradigmatic change. Market forces include decreased load growth, technological advances in distributed energy resources, pressures for decarbonization, and demands for increased efficiency and new utility services. Meanwhile, as the utility monopoly is undermined and profits slow, financial analysts signal increasing risk to potential utility investors. Suggestions for transforming the existing regulatory structure abound. At the broadest level, such proposals reflect an established divide between energy policy, which traditionally focuses on economics and markets, and environmental law, which is based in the protection of natural resources and ecosystems. To marry the two …


Shared Responsibility Regulation Model For Cross-Border Reproductive Transactions, Sharon Bassan Jan 2016

Shared Responsibility Regulation Model For Cross-Border Reproductive Transactions, Sharon Bassan

Michigan Journal of International Law

The term “cross-border reproductive transactions” refers to the movement of tens of thousands of people, who travel from one country to purchase reproductive services from suppliers in other countries, in order to have a child.2 It is estimated that between eleven and fourteen thousand patients in Europe alone engage in this practice annually.3 Historically, the phrase ‘medical tourism’ used to refer to the travel of patients from less-affluent countries seeking better healthcare in countries with superior healthcare standards. Today, the journey is just as likely to flow in the opposite direction, as patients travel from industrialized to less affluent countries …


Standing In The Way Of The Ftaia: Exceptional Applications Of Illinois Brick, Jennifer Fischell Oct 2015

Standing In The Way Of The Ftaia: Exceptional Applications Of Illinois Brick, Jennifer Fischell

Michigan Law Review

In 1982, Congress enacted the Foreign Antitrust Trade Improvements Act (FTAIA) to resolve uncertainties about the international reach and effect of U.S. antitrust laws. Unfortunately, the FTAIA has provided more questions than answers. It has been ten years since the Supreme Court most recently interpreted the FTAIA, and crucial questions and circuit splits abound. One of these questions is how to understand the convergence of the direct purchaser rule (frequently referred to as the Illinois Brick doctrine) and the FTAIA. Under the direct purchaser rule, only those who purchase directly from antitrust violators are typically permitted to sue under section …


Regulating Electricity-Market Manipulation: A Proposal For A New Regulatory Regime To Proscribe All Forms Of Manipulation, Matthew Evans Feb 2015

Regulating Electricity-Market Manipulation: A Proposal For A New Regulatory Regime To Proscribe All Forms Of Manipulation, Matthew Evans

Michigan Law Review

Congress broadly authorized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to protect consumers of electricity from all forms of manipulation in the electricity markets, but the regulations that FERC passed are not nearly so expansive. As written, FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule covers only instances of manipulation involving fraud. This narrow scope is problematic, however, because electricity markets can also be manipulated by nonfraudulent activity. Thus, in order to reach all forms of manipulation, FERC is forced to interpret and apply its Anti-Manipulation Rule in ways that strain the plain language and accepted understanding of the rule and therefore constitute an improper extension …


Stubborn Things: An Empirical Approach To Facts, Opinions, And The First Amendment, Daniel E. Herz-Roiphe Jan 2015

Stubborn Things: An Empirical Approach To Facts, Opinions, And The First Amendment, Daniel E. Herz-Roiphe

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

This essay offers an empirical approach to the problem, rooted in an argument that the underlying rationale for the fact/opinion distinction in compelled speech doctrine tells us something about how this distinction should be policed. Commercial speech enjoys protection by virtue of its value to listeners, it is from the listener's vantage point, then, that courts should assess whether a compelled disclosure is fact or opinion. And if we are interested in learning how disclosures will affect listeners, we might try asking them, just as courts adjudicating trademark suits frequently use consumer surveys to determine how customers understand the meaning …


Can You Diagnose Me Now? A Proposal To Modify The Fda’S Regulation Of Smartphone Mobile Health Applications With A Pre-Market Notification And Application Database Program, Stephen Mcinerney Jan 2015

Can You Diagnose Me Now? A Proposal To Modify The Fda’S Regulation Of Smartphone Mobile Health Applications With A Pre-Market Notification And Application Database Program, Stephen Mcinerney

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Advances in mobile technology continually create new possibilities for the future of medical care. Yet these changes have also created concerns about patient safety. Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate a broad spectrum of products beyond traditional medical devices like stethoscopes or pacemakers. The regulatory question is not if the FDA has the statutory authority to regulate health-related software, but rather how it will exercise its regulatory authority. In September 2013, the FDA published Final Guidance on Mobile Medical Applications; in it, the Agency limited its oversight to …


The Fragmented Regulation Of Investment Advice: A Call For Harmonization, Christine Lazaro, Benjamin P. Edwards Dec 2014

The Fragmented Regulation Of Investment Advice: A Call For Harmonization, Christine Lazaro, Benjamin P. Edwards

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Decades of short-term thinking and regulatory fixes created the bewilderingly complex statutory and regulatory structures governing the giving of personalized investment advice to retail customers. Although deeply flawed, the current systems remain entrenched because of the difficulties inherent in making radical alterations. Importantly, the current patchwork systems do not seem to serve retail customers particularly well. Retail customers tend to make predictable and costly mistakes in allocating their assets. Some of this occurs because many investors lack basic financial literacy. A recent study released by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) on financial literacy among investors …


The Volcker Rule, Banking Entities, And Covered Funds Activities, Jeffrey Koh, Kyle Gaughan Dec 2014

The Volcker Rule, Banking Entities, And Covered Funds Activities, Jeffrey Koh, Kyle Gaughan

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

With the passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Congress instituted a host of new laws attempting to protect consumers from the types of risky trading that led to the 2008 economic crisis. However, many of the new rules and regulations, including the Volcker Rule, are yet to fully take effect. Among other restrictions, the Volcker Rule attempts to curtail risky trading by limiting banking entity investments in private equity and venture capital funds. As the Volcker Rule nears its implementation deadline, banking entities are concerned that they will face substantial losses in having to comply with the Volcker Rule by …


Opening Schumer’S Box: The Empirical Foundations Of Modern Consumer Finance Disclosure Law, Hosea H. Harvey Sep 2014

Opening Schumer’S Box: The Empirical Foundations Of Modern Consumer Finance Disclosure Law, Hosea H. Harvey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article explores the fundamental failure of Congress’ twenty-five-year quest to utilize disclosure as the primary tool to both regulate credit card issuers and educate consumers. From inception until present, reforms to this disclosure regime, even when premised on judgment and decision-making behavioralism, were nomothetic in orientation and ignored clear differences in population behavior and the heterogeniety of consumers. Current law prohibits credit card issuers from acquiring consumer socio-demographic data and prevents issuers and regulators from using market and policy experimentation to enhance disclosure’s efficacy. To explain why this regime was structured this way and why it must change, this …


The Audience In Intellectual Property Infringement, Jeanne C. Fromer, Mark A. Lemley May 2014

The Audience In Intellectual Property Infringement, Jeanne C. Fromer, Mark A. Lemley

Michigan Law Review

Every intellectual property (“IP”) right has its own definition of infringement. In this Article, we suggest that this diversity of legal rules is largely traceable to differences in the audience in IP cases. Patent, trademark, copyright, and design patent each focus on a different person as the fulcrum for evaluating IP infringement. That patent law, for example, focuses on an expert audience while trademark looks to a consumer audience explains many of the differences in how patent and trademark cases are decided. Expert audiences are likely to evaluate infringement based on the technical similarity between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s works. …


Pay-For-Delay Settlements In The Wake Of Actavis, Michael L. Fialkoff May 2014

Pay-For-Delay Settlements In The Wake Of Actavis, Michael L. Fialkoff

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

“Pay-for-delay” settlements, also known as reverse payments, arise when a generic manufacturer pursues FDA approval of a generic version of a brand-name drug. If a patent protects the brand-name drug, the generic manufacturer has the option of contesting the validity of the patent or arguing that its product does not infringe the patent covering the brand-name drug. If the generic manufacturer prevails on either of these claims, the FDA will approve its generic version for sale. Approval of a generic version of a brand-name drug reduces the profitability of the brand-name drug by forcing the brand-name manufacturer to price its …


A Disclosure-Focused Approach To Compelled Commercial Speech, Andrew C. Budzinski May 2014

A Disclosure-Focused Approach To Compelled Commercial Speech, Andrew C. Budzinski

Michigan Law Review

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration passed a rule revising compelled disclaimers on tobacco products pursuant to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The rule required that tobacco warnings include something new: all tobacco products now had to bear one of nine graphic images to accompany the text. Tobacco companies filed suit contesting the constitutionality of the rule, arguing that the government violated their right to free commercial speech by compelling disclosure of the graphic content. Yet First Amendment jurisprudence lacks a doctrinally consistent standard for reviewing such compelled disclosures. Courts’ analyses typically depend on whether the …


Rationality's Reach, Adam B. Badawi Apr 2014

Rationality's Reach, Adam B. Badawi

Michigan Law Review

Economic analysis and the rational actor model have dominated contracts scholarship for at least a generation. In the past fifteen years or so, however, a group of behaviorists has challenged the ability of the rational choice model to account for consumer behavior. These behaviorists are not trying to dismantle the entire enterprise. They generally accept the fundamentals of economic analysis but argue that the rational actor model can be improved by incorporating evidence of decisionmaking flaws that people exhibit. Oren Bar-Gill has been one of the foremost and influential proponents of a behaviorist take on contracts, and his recent book, …


Comparative Effectiveness Research As Choice Architecture: The Behavioral Law And Economics Solution To The Health Care Cost Crisis, Russell Korobkin Feb 2014

Comparative Effectiveness Research As Choice Architecture: The Behavioral Law And Economics Solution To The Health Care Cost Crisis, Russell Korobkin

Michigan Law Review

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) set to dramatically increase access to medical care, the problem of rising costs will move center stage in health law and policy discussions. “Consumer directed health care” proposals, which provide patients with financial incentives to equate marginal costs and benefits of care at the point of treatment, demand more decisionmaking ability from consumers than is plausible due to bounded rationality. Proposals that seek to change the incentives of health care providers threaten to create conflicts of interest between doctors and patients. New approaches are desperately needed. This Article proposes a government-facilitated …


Food Miles: Environmental Protection Or Veiled Protectionism?, Meredith Kolsky Lewis, Andrew D. Mitchell Jan 2014

Food Miles: Environmental Protection Or Veiled Protectionism?, Meredith Kolsky Lewis, Andrew D. Mitchell

Michigan Journal of International Law

Eat local. Such a small phrase yet such a loaded proposition. Buying food from nearby sources has become a popular objective. This aim is associated with helping farmers in one’s country or region; observing the seasonality of one’s location; eating fresher foods; striving for food security; and protecting the environment. One of the unmistakable messages of the “locavore” movement is that importing food—particularly food that comes from far away—causes environmental harm. The theory is that transporting food long distances results in the release of high levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere and is thus a dangerous contributor to …


Power To The People: Why We Need Full Federal Preemption Of Electrical Transmission Regulation, Max Hensley Jun 2013

Power To The People: Why We Need Full Federal Preemption Of Electrical Transmission Regulation, Max Hensley

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

State and federal governments have made significant investments in the development and installation of renewable energy technology. However, further increases in renewable power use have been stymied by the continued mismatch between the national interest in connecting consumers with utility-scale wind and solar installations and state and local control over the siting of electrical transmission lines. Because renewable power potential is often located far from consumers, transmission lines must cross multiple jurisdictions whose local interests have tended to prevent or significantly delay development. This Note analyzes that disconnect, reviews academic and legislative proposals to overcome it, and proposes a way …


Chopping Down The Rainforest: Finding A Solution To The "Amazon Problem", Eric Andrew Felleman Jan 2012

Chopping Down The Rainforest: Finding A Solution To The "Amazon Problem", Eric Andrew Felleman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Current economic conditions in the United States have led to a dramatic decrease in state tax revenue. Without these funds, states will be unable to support important public services, and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the public and private sectors are at risk of being cut, as states work to close $103 billion in budget gaps. Accomplishing that will involve overcoming many hurdles, such as the unpopularity of raising taxes during times of economic trouble, but one largely untapped source could provide a significant amount of income to states. States currently lose around $23 billion annually in uncollected use …


Playing With Fire: Proceeding Cautiously With Reforms To The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, Nicholas Pietropaulo Jan 2012

Playing With Fire: Proceeding Cautiously With Reforms To The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, Nicholas Pietropaulo

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

On January 1, 2012, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act went into effect. It marked a significant change in how the state of Michigan treats the sale and use of “consumer fireworks.” Effectively, the new statute authorizes the sale and use of Roman Candles, bottle rockets, aerials, and other fireworks that had previously been banned. Almost immediately, challenges and complaints were raised. On one side, eight fireworks vendors challenged the constitutionality of one of the law’s provisions that required such vendors to purchase insurance at an arguably unreasonable rate. The court dismissed that case, holding that it could not be said …


Re-Thinking Health Insurance, Hans Biebl Jan 2012

Re-Thinking Health Insurance, Hans Biebl

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

In May 2009, while promoting the legislation that would become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), President Obama said that rising health care costs threatened the balance sheets of both the federal government and private enterprise. He noted that any increase in health care spending consumes funds that “companies could be using to innovate and to grow, making it harder for them to compete around the world.” Despite the rancorous debate that surrounded this health care legislation and which culminated with the Supreme Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses, the PPACA was not a radical piece …