Abitudini e preferenze di consumo. Nuove forme di disclosure per la tutela del consumatore

Mercato Concorrenza Regole, 2, pp. 393-420 - 2012

Mercato concorrenza regoleScholars in law and economics have long addressed the issue of how to protect consumers when asymmetric information taints their relationship with their professional counterparties. Particular attention has been devoted to the fact that consumers are not familiar with the features of the products they are offered. To the contrary, little attention has been devoted to the fact that another piece of information might be important to the consumers, namely the information about their use patterns. This is not surprising: consumers’ patterns in the use of products appear to be, by definition, a piece of information that is at disposal of the consumers themselves. As recent studies have shown, though, consumers are not aware of their «use profile», while professionals spend enormous resources in mapping and recording it. In other words: the most recent literature has shown that, even on this matter, consumers are affected by asymmetric information, and this might suggest the opportunity of a regulatory intervention. After having surveyed the literature on product use information, this work: 1. analyzes whether and to what extent national regulators in Italy and in the UK are trying to ensure consumers’ awareness as to their use pattern; 2. points out the way forward.

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