Put a stop to coronavirus cost gouging, state AGs inform Amazon, Facebook and others

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Items like hand sanitizer can be the target of cost gouging. 


Angela Lang/CNET

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Thirty-4 state chief law officers are getting in touch with business like Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook, eBay and Walmart to take a more difficult position versus cost gouging in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The letters to each business mention particular examples, like a Craigslist advertisement for a 2-liter bottle of Purell Advanced hand sanitizer with a $250 cost. While the chief law officers acknowledge that these business have actually taken actions towards reducing cost gouging, the latter require more action.

“When consumers cannot get what they need to protect their homes and loved ones — or in this case, help prevent the spread of the virus– consumers suffer not only economic harm, but serious health consequences as well,” the letter checks out.

Specifically, the letter notes 3 actions business can take consisting of setting policies and constraints around cost gouging, setting off those securities ahead of an emergency situation statement and developing and preserving a “fair pricing” page or website. 

“eBay is taking significant measures to block or quickly remove items on our marketplace that make false health claims. We are making every effort to ensure that anyone who sells on our platform follows local laws and eBay policies,” eBay stated in a declaration. 

Along those lines, Amazon explained its efforts versus cost gouging in a post Monday entitled “Price gouging has no place in our stores.”

Facebook likewise kept in mind actions it’s taken: “Since COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency, Facebook has removed millions of ads and commerce listings for the sale of masks, hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 test kits. While enforcement is not perfect, we have put several automated detection mechanisms in place to block or remove this material from our platform,” stated Daniel Roberts, a Facebook representative in a declaration. 

Craigslist and Walmart didn’t instantly react to an ask for remark. 


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