Although the Supreme Court appeared hesitant to intervene significantly on determining appropriate mutual fund fees as the Jones v. Harris Associates case began Monday, the justices appeared interested in setting a clearer standard on fees, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Although the case contests that Harris breached its fiduciary duty by charging retail investors twice what it charged institutional investors, a number of justices suggested that investors could simply take their business elsewhere to a lower-cost fund, and that even if they were offered only a handful of funds in a 401(k), plan sponsors are increasingly moving to lower-cost offerings.

However, Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned whether fees negotiated by an investment advisor, even if approved by independent directors, constitutes a neutral, fair decision, saying, “Let’s assume all independent board members vote for a fee negotiated by an insider who does the evaluation and says, ‘I think this is a great deal, guys.’ Is that a process that would constitute an arms-length deal?”

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