NewsCoronavirus COVID-19 Economic Impact

Actions

State getting tough on price gouging during pandemic

A.G. says Amazon and Facebook are on board
Coronavirus Indiana.JPG
Posted at 9:13 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 21:19:05-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A crisis such as the pandemic can bring out the best in people, and in some cases, the worst.

Thursday, the Indiana Attorney General announced a partnership with Amazon and Facebook to fight price gouging within the companies' respective sites and marketplaces.

Curtis Hill said his office can send price-gouging complaints related to Amazon directly to the company so it can investigate them. Amazon will also send market analysis information to the office, which will allow the office to better identify sellers engaging in bad behavior.

“We are communicating directly with Amazon and Facebook so that together we can take action against those who feel it is acceptable to scam Hoosiers, many of whom are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Hill said. “Price gouging is an unconscionable practice, and we will do everything within our legal right to stop it.”

Amazon said it is removing some 500,000 offers from its stores due to coronavirus-related price gouging. The company said it has also suspended more than 3,900 accounts in its U.S. store for violating its fair pricing policies.

Facebook will also work with the office to remove price-gouging listings and advertisements from its Marketplace. The company has banned the advertisement and sale of medical masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and coronavirus
testing kits, as well as prohibited products that claim to cure or prevent the virus.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General has received more than 150 price-gouging complaints since Gov. Eric Holcomb declared a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

If you suspect an Amazon or Facebook seller is charging excessive prices for goods you need, you may submit a consumer complaint to the Consumer Protection Division by clicking here [lnks.gd].