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‘Stop Price Gouging,’ 34 Attorneys General Tell Amazon, Walmart, Others

Published on March 25th, 2020

In letters to Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Facebook and Craigslist on Wednesday, 34 attorneys general say these companies’ efforts to crack down on overpriced items on their selling platforms have so far “failed to remove unconscionably priced critical supplies.”

They also cited a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group earlier this month. Which found that one in six products sold directly by Amazon itself (not through third-party sellers). It jumped in price by at least 50% in February.

On Monday, Amazon reiterated in a blog post that “it has zero tolerance for price gouging” and that it has already removed more than 500,000 listings because of coronavirus-based price gouging and suspended more than 3,900 U.S. selling accounts for violating fair pricing policies.

Walmart and eBay both said they are actively monitoring pricing for high-demand items and.

Facebook said it has removed ads and sale listings for high-demand items including coronavirus testing kits.

Craigslist did not respond to NPR’s inquiry Wednesday.

Price gouging laws vary across the U.S., but generally go after retailers and wholesalers for unfair markups, particularly during emergencies.

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