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Amazon Calls For Federal Law Against Price Gouging During National Crises

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Amazon Calls For Federal Law Against Price Gouging During National Crises

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is calling for the United States government to make laws against price gouging among sellers during national emergencies.

Easier To Stop Price Gouging In States With Relevant Laws

In a blog post on Wednesday, the e-commerce company's Vice President for Public Policy Brian Huseman said action at the federal level is needed to successfully counter the rise in price gouging incidents during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Huseman listed the company's own efforts in combating the "bad players" on its platforms, including suspension of 4,000 third-party sellers.

According to Amazon, the company has been better able to collaborate with authorities in states where anti-price gouging laws exist, like Tennessee, Washington, and Alaska.

Strong Federal Law Needed, Amazon Says

Huseman noted that while nearly two-thirds of U.S. states have certain legislation to discourage price increases during a national crisis, "a strong federal anti-price gouging law" is needed at the federal level.

"[A] federal price gouging law would ensure that there are no gaps in protection for consumers," the executive said. "This would also help retailers like Amazon more effectively prevent bad actors and ensure fair prices."

Such a law should also allow for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the states "the authority to go after scammers," according to Amazon.

Attorney Generals of 32 states in March wrote to Amazon, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), and eBay Inc.(NASDAQ: EBAY), asking the companies to keep price inflation for critical items like masks and hand sanitizers in check, Reuters reported.

Amazon Price Action

Amazon shares closed 0.47% higher at $2,367.92 on Wednesday and traded another 0.17% higher at $2,372 in the after-hours session.

 

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