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Attorneys General Step Up Enforcement Efforts Against Price Gouging

  • AGs across the country are taking steps to protect the public from price gouging by sellers capitalizing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • California AG Xavier Becerra sent letters to multiple online commerce platforms, including Alibaba Group, Shopify, eBay, Inc., and Overstock expressing concern about third-party sellers engaging in price gouging on these platforms and urging heightened vigilance.
  • Florida AG Ashley Moody issued more than 40 subpoenas to third-party sellers on Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) in her investigation of unlawful price increases on essential goods, including face masks and sanitizers. At the same time, AG Moody also sent a letter to Amazon commending the company’s cooperation in working to combat price gouging.
  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey issued an emergency regulation to prohibit price gouging of essential goods and services necessary for public health and safety during a declared statewide or national emergency.
  • Missouri AG Eric Schmitt warned potential bad actors that his office will take legal action on reports and complaints of price gouging related to the medical supply chain.
  • Texas AG Ken Paxton warned retail suppliers, including grocery stores and pharmacies, that state law prohibits price gouging after a disaster declaration. Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the AG may seek reimbursement and civil penalties, including a penalty of up to $250,000 if the affected consumers are elderly.