Amazon wants to prevents price gouging on items like face masks. 


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Amazon is making the case for a federal price gouging law. 

In a blogpost Wednesday, Brian Huseman oversees public policy for the Americas at Amazon, said that individual states having their own rules about drastically raising prices on in-demand goods (like hand sanitizer) during times of emergency isn’t enough. 

“While each state is unique and has the ability to enact individual legislative price gouging triggers and remedies, a federal price gouging law would ensure that there are no gaps in protection for consumers,” Huseman wrote, noting that only about two-thirds of states in the US prohibit price-gouging. 

He also suggested price gouging be defined as “unconscionable or grossly excessive or unconscionably excessive,” rather than using specific percentages like 10-25%

“We want to avoid the $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an emergency goes into effect, while not punishing unavoidable price increases that emergencies can cause, especially as supply chains are disrupted,” he wrote. 

The blog post comes after online retailers and marketplaces like Amazon have been trying to bat down sellers charging high prices for items like face masks and hand sanitizer amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon says it’s suspended almost 4,000 seller accounts for violating its fair pricing policies. In March, 34 state attorneys general called on Amazon, Walmart and others to take a harder stance on price gouging.

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