‘We want to avoid the $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an emergency goes into effect’
Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, called for the establishment of a federal price gouging law in a blog post Wednesday. Third-party sellers on Amazon have been charging unfair prices for a wide range of items, from face masks and hand sanitizer to rice and beans.
Read the Amazon blog post here.
While some states do have such protections, Huseman said state laws don’t go far enough to protect consumers against the kind of predatory pricing that shows up during crises like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“While each state is unique and has the ability to enact individual legislative price gouging triggers and remedies, a federal price gouging law would ensure that there are no gaps in protection for consumers,” Huseman writes. “This would also help retailers like Amazon more effectively prevent bad actors and ensure fair prices.”
“Put simply, we want to avoid the $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an emergency goes into effect, while not punishing unavoidable price increases that emergencies can cause, especially as supply chains are disrupted,” Huseman said
Reporting by Annie Palmer at CNBC:
During the pandemic, Amazon, Walmart and other e-commerce companies struggled to curb third-party sellers who overcharged for products that spiked in demand. Sellers inflated prices for face masks, hazmat suits and hand sanitizer, among other products. For example, before Amazon ran out of stock, N95 face masks were priced at $13.28, but CNBC found examples of face masks being sold for as much as $195.
Huseman said Amazon has removed “well over half a million offers” believed to be gouging customers and suspended nearly 4,000 selling accounts in the U.S. for violating its fair-pricing policies. Amazon has also turned over to federal prosecutors and state attorneys general nationwide information on sellers it suspects engaged in coronavirus-related price gouging.
Huseman laid out several provisions he feels should be added to a federal price gouging law, including giving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the power to go after price gouging, allowing for “more expeditious enforcement.” He added that the pricing standards should take into account any unavoidable rises in supply, transportation and labor costs that businesses face during a crisis.
FILE PHOTO – The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque northern France – Reuters, 2017
Watch live, as ousted Trump administration health official Rick Bright testifies on his whistleblower complaint before Congress.
Today, in an exchange with a noted fan on Fox Business, impeached and manifestly unfit President Trump said a bunch of really dumb untrue things on live television that made no sense at all.
Days after it was reported that James Damore’s lawsuit against Google was quietly settled, NBC News reports that Google has ended or sharply curtailed diversity programs to “avoid being perceived as anti-conservative”. April Glazer: Internal diversity and inclusion training programs have been scaled back or cut entirely, four Google employees and two people who recently […]
If you’re one of those staunch bookworms who refuses to take the plunge on an e-reader, we get it. Change is hard. And no, e-readers don’t have that familiar musty smell, a hefty reassuring weight or make a satisfying thunk sound when you thump it closed. But it’s 2020. And rather than think of all […]
If you’ve ever considered what it would take to build your own video games, you’ve probably heard of AppGameKit. Over the past decade, the UK-based firm has become one of the independent game engines that helped democratize the process of creating apps and mobile gaming for the masses. From games to other mobile apps, AppGameKit […]
Resume padding is as American as baseball and hot dogs. In fact, 4 out of 5 job applicants stretch, if not bend, sprain or outright fracture the truth about themselves on their resume. While some resume lies are truly epic, most fall into the little white lie variety, like claiming mastery of software with which […]