State AGs target price gouging
A bipartisan group of state attorneys general on Wednesday sent letters to major retailers urging them crack down on price gouging on their online platforms amid the spread of the coronavirus
The 34 AGs recommended Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook and Walmart build tools to detect price spikes and create landing pages for people to report cases of price gouging.
“Major online businesses must ensure consumers are charged fair prices when they shop on their platforms,” Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement on the letters. “We appreciate the efforts these companies are making during this difficult time and are hopeful that they will continue work with State Attorneys General to do more to root out price gouging online and protect consumers.”
The letter cited several reported cases of price gouging related to the coronavirus, including prices for hand sanitizer and face masks spiking at least 50 percent and an eight ounce bottle of Purell selling for 40 dollars on the Facebook marketplace.
The attorneys general said their offices have been receiving reports of price gouging daily.
While many retailers have taken steps to address the issue, they haven’t done enough, the letter stated. Other government entities have also stepped up pressure on price gouging.