University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

Modernising consumer markets and the School of Law

In July, Peter Cartwright, Richard Hyde and Sam Dunleavy from the School of Law at the University of Nottingham provided a detailed response to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Green Paper on Modernising Consumer Markets. The Green Paper, which was published in April, sets out three key principles for responding to what it calls "the challenges and opportunities of modern consumer markets". They are:

  • Competition should be central to the Government's approach
  • Consumers should benefit from new technology and new business models
  • Consumers should be able to get redress when things go wrong

The Green Paper raises a range of very interesting ideas about how these principles might be implemented successfully . For example, it investigates how portability of consumer data might be used to improve outcomes for consumers without leaving behind the more vulnerable and disadvantaged. New rights to data portability are designed to make it easier for consumers to switch between services and suppliers, but there are questions about how easily consumers will be able to take advantage of this. The Green Paper also considers topics such as how personalised prices are being used (or mis-used) and whether contractual terms and conditions in some sectors should be required to reach a given level of comprehension.

These are all areas where Peter, Richard and Sam are actively engaged in research (in some cases in collaboration with colleagues at Nottingham outside the School of Law). The Government's interest in these areas demonstrates the great opportunities that exist for collaboration between Government and Universities such as Nottingham to ensure that consumer law and policy are fit for the 21st century. For those who would like to see the response in detail it is available from eprints.

Posted on Monday 16th July 2018

University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD