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McDonald's Monopoly : the biggest fraud in history

What the law says

The relevant law for Australia is the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Here is what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's website says : Businesses are not allowed to make statements that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression.. It also states that It is common practice for advertisements to include some information in fine print. This information must not contradict the overall message of the advertisement..

Not only McDonald's Australia mislead the consumers into believing that it was possible for them to complete a property set, they haven't even given any warnings in the fine print. Note that had they given a warning in the fine print that the game was rigged, it would still be illegal if, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says, that information contradicted the overall message of the advertisement which is the case in the McDonald's Monopoly fraud.

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in Australia represents very standard consumers' protection principles. All of the Western countries with a modern legal system apply similar laws. It can be redacted in a different way with different words but the main purpose is always the same : to protect the consumers. That's the reason why an Australian court can base its decision based on the jurisprudence of other countries like Canada or the United Kingdom. Here is how the European Union defines a misleading omission :

Misleading omissions

"These arise when material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to take an informed transactional decision is omitted or provided in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner and thereby causes (or might cause) that consumer to take a purchase decision that he or she would not have otherwise taken." Check for yourself on the European Union website by clicking on this link.

Now, if you've read our explanations about the fraud number 1, you remember that the rules in the United States stated the odds of completing a collection. The rules in Australia don't. Since McDonald's knew the real odds and deliberately failed to inform the consumers, there is a misleading omission.

The law on quasi-contracts

Before you keep reading, we must warn you that the following jurisprudence comes from a French court. We are however confident that the same interpretation will be made in any countries with a modern legal system.

Here is the jurisprudence of the cour de cassation (the highest court in France) : Quasi-contracts being purely voluntary acts of man, the result of which is a commitment toward a third party, the organizer of a lottery who announces a prize to a person without highlighting the existence of a hazard/chance/odds is obliged, by this purely voluntary act, to deliver the prize in question. (Cass., ch. mixte, 6 sept. 2002)
In this case, the "hazard/chance/odds" is the fact that, for example, there wasn't an equal proportion of sticker A and sticker B. McDonald's having voluntarily omitted to give us this crucial piece of information, the "game" is not only a fraud but they also have to pay the players what they should have won had the game not been rigged.

McDonald's has to pay you what you should have won had the game not been rigged! This amount can, in some cases, be very important.

What's a quasi-contract?

It's an obligation of one party to another imposed by law independently of an agreement between the parties. To put it in simple terms, it means McDonald's has a legal obligation toward you to pay you the prizes you should have won had the game not been rigged and this even though you didn't sign a contract in writing for example. The obligation is implicit, that's what a quasi-contract is. To make it really simple to understand, just imagine it's the same thing as a contract except that you aren't require to sign any documents.

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