Friday, December 14, 2012

Butler Machine Tool Ltd. v. Ex-cell-O Corp Ltd case brief

Butler Machine Tool Ltd. V Ex-cell-O Corp Ltd
Facts: Sellers offered to sell a machine tool to buyers for a price, with delivery in ten mths. This offer includes a price variation clause. Buyers replied on their own standard form accepting the offer, but terms and conditions in this form made no provision for a price variation clause. Buyer’s standard form had a tear off strip which sellers returned containing “we accept you order on the terms and conditions thereon”. Sellers returned slip with letter stating the buyer’s order was entered into in accordance with the original offer. Sellers eventually delivered machine, claiming an extra price under price variation clause. Buyers refuse to pay. 
Issue: Which form prevails over the other?
Rule: the returning of the form’s slip resembles an acceptance of a counteroffer , the attached letter is simply a confirmation of the price and description of the machine.
Analysis: since the form that the sellers returned to the buyers agreed to the terms and conditions of the buyers, their signature is equivalent to an acceptance of the buyers counter offer, therefore there is no room for arguments as to whether or not there is a price variation clause.
Conclusion: The difference in the cost for the price variation clause was not an action that could be carried out.

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