Published On: Thu, May 14th, 2020

Amazon calls on Congress to emanate anti-price gouging law

Amazon has viewed a satisfactory volume of critique for viewed inaction opposite seller cost gouging during a COVID-19 pandemic. While a sell hulk has done efforts to rein in a opportunist activity (pulling some half a million offending listings), critics have forked to a company’s delayed response, along with continued problems with a series of high-demand products sole by affiliates.

Today, however, a company’s VP of Public Policy, Brian Huseman, penned an open minute to Congress, seeking lawmakers to make cost gouging bootleg during a inhabitant crisis. The executive records that a process has been an effective apparatus in states like Tennessee where such laws already exist.

“Our collaborative efforts to reason cost gougers accountable have simplified one thing: to keep gait with bad actors and strengthen consumers, we need a clever sovereign anti-price gouging law,” Huseman writes. “As of now, cost gouging is taboo during times of predicament in about two-thirds of a United States. The manifold standards among states benefaction a poignant plea for retailers operative to support law enforcement, strengthen consumers, and approve with a law.”

Jeff Bezos also addressed a emanate in his annual shareholder minute final month, writing, “To accelerate a response to price-gouging incidents, we combined a special communication channel for state attorneys ubiquitous to fast and simply expand consumer complaints to us.”

The association has positively taken some efforts to quell a act. As it notes, scarcely 4,000 seller accounts have been dangling in a U.S. store for process violations. But a cursory hunt for in-demand products yields copiousness of prohibitively costly listings for once-ubiquitous domicile products. Home cleaning reserve in sold have seen a large spike in pricing.

We asked Thinknum to draft a cost of Clorox-branded equipment from late final year by now and a graph speaks for itself:

As sell store shelves have left bare, Amazon has turn an essential salvation for many — a fact that copiousness of rapacious sellers have been some-more than happy to gain on. Beyond essential supplies, prices have left by a roof for a series of products now in brief demand, such as a Nintendo Switch, that has been squeezed by a multiple of increasing seductiveness and supply sequence issues.

The association justly records that enforcing such policies as a matter of a law will be a kind of sophistry act. “Put simply, we wish to equivocate a $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an puncture goes into effect, while not punishing destined cost increases that emergencies can cause, generally as supply bondage are disrupted,” Huseman writes. “Furthermore, any prohibitions should request to all levels of a supply sequence so that retailers and resellers are not forced to bear cost gouging increases by manufacturers and suppliers.”

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