• Cross offers
This is a phenomenon whereby a party submits an offer to another who has already dispatched a similar offer and two offers cross in the course of transmission. No agreement arises between the parties for lack of consensus ad idem.
This is the variation or modification or change of the terms of the offer by the offeree. The offeree in such a case gives a qualified or conditional acceptance which is not an acceptance in law. A counter offer is an offer in its own right and if accepted by other offeror, an agreement arises.
Effect of a counter offer
The legal effects of a counter offer is to terminate the original offer. It therefore remains as the offer. In Hyde V. Wrench (1940). On June 6th the defendant made a written offer to sell a farm to the plaintiff for 1000 pounds on 8th June the plaintiff wrote back accepting to buy the land for pound 950. On June 27th the defendant wrote refusing the pound 950. On June 29 the plaintiff wrote accepting to pay 1000 pound for the farm but the defendant declined. It was held that there was no agreement between the parties as the plaintiff counter offer of 950 terminated the original offer of the defendant which therefore did not exist when the plaintiff purported to accept it. An offer differs from an inquiry or request for information.
This is an offer which arises when a persons tender to supply goods or services is “accepted” by the other party. Such “acceptance” is not an acceptance in a legal sense. In converts the tender to a standing offer for the duration specified and the offeror is bound to supply the goods or services whenever requested by the offeree. However, a standing offer may be revoked by the offeror or at any time before an order or requisition is made unless the parties have by a separate contract agreed that the offeror is to keep his standing offer open. Such a contract is referred to as an “option.”
In Great Northern Railway Company V. Witham the plaintiff company invited tenders for the supply of “stores” for 12 months. The defendants submitted a tender indicating his desire to supply the stores for 12 months. Such quantities as required by the company. The plaintiff company accepted the defendants tender and subsequently made a requisition for stores within the 12 months but the defendants failed to supply and was sued. It was held that the defendant was liable in damages for breach of contract as his standing offer had been accepted by the railway company.