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Foundational Principles of Contract Law$
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Melvin A. Eisenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731404

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199731404.001.0001

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The Termination of an Offeree’s Power of Acceptance

The Termination of an Offeree’s Power of Acceptance

Chapter:
(p.457) Thirty-Three The Termination of an Offeree’s Power of Acceptance
Source:
Foundational Principles of Contract Law
Author(s):

Melvin A. Eisenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199731404.003.0033

An offer vests in the offeree the power to conclude a bargain, that is, the power of acceptance. Much of the law of offer and acceptance concerns the question: What kinds of events terminate that power? One such event is lapse of the offer. Another is revocation. Normally an offeror may revoke the offer at any time before acceptance. However, often an offeror will promise to hold the offer open for a given period of time. If the offeree gives consideration for such a promise the promise is referred to as an option and is enforceable. If the offeree does not give consideration for such a promise the offer is referred to as a firm offer and normally is revocable unless relied upon. This rule is unjustified. If an offeror promises to hold an offer she does so to further her own interests. Failure to enforce such promises is therefore against the interests of offerors as a class.

Keywords:   power of acceptance, termination of power, lapse, revocation, option, firm offer

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