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What do you call the act of compromising during deal-making to get the fairest deal possible? I think I heard an idiom and it contained the word "middle", but I don't remember what the expression was. I think it was a three word phrase, but I don't remember.

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There is no "fairest deal possible". What is fair for ne party may not be fair another party. Of course, at some point, parties might agree that everything is "fair" and accept the deal.

Referring to an idiom using "middle", you probably think of meet someone halfway:

meet someone halfway = to agree to do part of what someone wants if that person will do part of what you want:

  • The buyers wanted to bring the price down from $15,000 to $10,000, so I offered to meet them halfway at $12,500.
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You might be thinking of:

Find middle ground

Meet in the middle.

Find a happy medium.

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"Meet in the middle", possibly? As in,

When bargaining, they always start high and I always start low and we end up meeting somewhere in the middle

There's also the expression "give and take", which refers to the general process of bargaining where you give some concession in order to take some advantage from the other party.

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"Meet in the middle"

Both parties are on either side of the issue so they have to figuratively "meet" in the "middle" of the issue.

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