Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says his office is partnering with Amazon and Facebook to fight price gouging amid the coronavirus pandemic. The office’s Consumer Protection Division says it has received more than 150 price gouging complaints since Governor Eric Holcomb declared a public health emergency.
According to Hill, his office can send price gouging complaints related to Amazon directly to the company so it can investigate them, and Amazon will also send market analysis information to his office, helping better identify sellers engaging in bad behavior.
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.
“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,” Attorney General Hill said. “Price gouging is an unconscionable practice, and we will do everything within our legal right to stop it.”
Amazon says it has already removed more than 500,000 offers from its stores due to coronavirus-related price gouging. The company says it has also suspended more than 3,900 accounts in its U.S. store for violating its fair pricing policies.
Hill’s office says it has authority to enforce the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act which permits appropriate enforcement of any unfair, abusive, deceptive or unconscionable conduct.
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