CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS I FALSE ADVERTISING I FRAUD – Fraud, False Advertising and Unfair Competition Law the Correlation   

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS I FALSE ADVERTISING I FRAUD – Fraud, False Advertising and Unfair Competition Law the Correlation

September 24, 2021

Consumer protection laws protect consumers from deceptive business practices such as false advertising, fraud and unfair competition.

Consumer Protection Laws, what purpose do they serve?

Consumer protection laws are those laws adopted to protect consumers and instill safeguards to prevent harmful corporate practice. By adopting laws at the federal and state level businesses and large corporations are subject to liability in the event they place defective products into the stream of commerce, participate in deceptive business practices such as false or misleading advertisement or engage in other fraudulent practices.  Consumer protection laws serve several purposes, including:

  • Consumer protection laws provide consumers recourse in the event they suffer harm as a result of fraudulent or deceptive business practices.
  • Consumer protection laws encourage businesses to make safer products and/or take corrective measures once they are on notice of the danger (i.e.: product recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts).
  • Consumer protection laws require corporations to be transparent and honest with product labeling and advertisement.
  • Consumer protection laws inhibit or give rise to corporate liability in the event a business has participated in fraudulent or misleading corporate practice.

False Advertising and Encouraging Transparency

False advertising appears whenever incomplete, misleading or false information is published regarding a product or service. Advertisement is deemed any information regarding a product or service that is furnished by the seller, sales team or manufacturer.  Laws that give rise to a false advertising causes of action fall under consumer protection laws because they are laws geared to protect buyers in the marketplace in that they encourage sellers, manufactures and sales teams to be transparent regarding the products and services they are providing to the public.

Unfair Competition Laws Prohibit Illegal and Fraudulent Business Practice

Fraud, false advertising, illegal business practices are causes of action that fall under California unfair competition laws.California unfair competition laws (“UCL”) are laws designed to prevent businesses and corporations for participating in unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practices. While UCL includes redress for false, deceptive or misleading advertisement, its scope is larger in that recourse may be sought by consumers, businesses or other parties whom suffered a loss or incur damages as a result of unfair business practices.

Fraud a Case Study: How Consumer Protection Laws Designed to Prevent False Advertising and Unfair Competition Encourage Transparency

California plaintiffs purchased 400,000 defective personal computers. At the time these personal computers were marketed and sold the computers contained a defective microchip called a “Super 1/0” chip which controlled the operation of the floppy disk drive. Ultimately the defective floppy disk controller (“FDC”) improperly wrote data to, and improperly read data from, the floppy disks, resulting in data corruption.  Despite being on notice of this defect, the corporate defendant failed to disclose this to potential customers and actively concealed the FDC defect. Corporate executives directed that company to continue selling the defective computers issuing a warranty while knowing that the computers had defective FDCs. The plaintiffs in this action alleged several causes of action in their underlying complaint against the defendant, including causes of action for: common law fraud, false advertising, unfair competition law (UCL) and unjust enrichment.

SOURCE: Collins v. eMachines, Inc. (2011) 202 Cal. App. 4th 249; 134 Cal. Rptr. 3d 588; 2011 Cal. App. LEXIS 1626

False Advertising, Unfair Competition Laws, and Fraudulent Business Practices are further discussed in the articles below:

Fraud Verdicts are discussed below:

Fraud Damages and Remedies available for breach of Unfair Competition Laws are further discussed below:

Consumer Protection Laws protecting against Fraud, False Advertising and Unfair Competition Law

    Diana Legal