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Markets work best when consumers are active and empowered in the choices they make. When consumers shop around, they should increase incentives for businesses to offer higher standards and drive down production costs. When consumers are able to learn about new goods and services, and are confident enough to try them out, they should provide signals to firms encouraging innovation and the development of better products.
In these ways, active consumers can drive economic growth and reduce the need for regulatory interventions in markets. However, many elements of consumer transactions are becoming more complex. For instance, highly contingent pricing tariffs, complicated terms and conditions and sophisticated behavioural targeting techniques can all make it harder for consumers to exercise informed choice.
On 24 November 2009, the OFT and Consumer Focus co-hosted a breakfast roundtable meeting to discuss these issues with a range of experts and senior representatives and from business, government, regulators, consumer bodies and academia.
The discussion was focused around four key questions:
Read a selection of opinions and observations expressed by event participants.
Contact details for feedback or questions
If you have any comments, feedback or questions regarding the Active Consumers and Complex Transactions event, please contact Mark Dungworth (email@example.com or 020 7211 8241).
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