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Can you sue a company for lying to you? Let's say that you are negotiating a contract for the rights over the Harry Potter franchise, because you wrote it. Does the company that wants to buy the broadcasting rights have to give you the market rate for a similar franchise if you ask them to do so? If they do, but they lie about the market rate and give you an incorrect answer, can you sue them over this?

I am wondering, because sports team they don't give you an answer as to what the market rate is so your agent has to find it out for you, so I am thinking they don't have to tell you anything even if you ask them, but can they lie?

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Does the company who wants to buy the broadcasting rights have to give you the market rate for a similar franchise if you ask them to do so?

No, thats usually commercially sensitive information, unless its set by a standards or regulatory body (eg in the US there might be a set rate for a PBS show).

In general, entities do not have to help you in your bargaining position with them, which is why in your sports team example your agent has to do the research instead.

If they do, but they lie about the market right and give you an incorrect answer, can you sue them over this?

If they supply wrong information in order to gain from it, such as giving you a low figure in order to push you into accepting a low figure, then that can form the basis of fraudulent behaviour and misrepresentation - not only is this something you can sue for, in some cases it can become a criminal matter.

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A company (and you) must be honest in their dealings but they do not have to answer questions

Does the company that wants to buy the broadcasting rights have to give you the market rate for a similar franchise if you ask them to do so?

No.

If they do, but they lie about the market rate and give you an incorrect answer, can you sue them over this?

Yes. If a person misrepresents a material fact and that induces another person to enter into a contract with them then this can be grounds for voiding the contract or damages. The outcome depends on whether the misrepresentation was innocent (they were wrong but weren't obliged to be right), negligent (they were wrong and were obliged to be right) or fraudulent (they knew they were wrong and told you anyway - a lie if you will).

Misrepresentation that amounts to fraud may also be a criminal offence.

In some jurisdictions, deceptive and misleading conduct in trade or commerce is unlawful, either in dealing with consumers or across the board. Some jurisdictions will allow this to be the basis for a suit instead of or as well as contract law. Others treat this as an offence but don't give individuals the right to sue.

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