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Missouri Attorney General tackles alleged price gougers

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is going after eight third-party Amazon sellers suspected of price-gouging during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, March 30, Schmitt sent civil investigative demands to the sellers. The demands work like subpoenas, requiring the third-party sellers to provide information about their pricing and sales of face masks, respirators and hand sanitizer.

Amazon and other private-sector businesses are working with public officials to crack down on potential price-gouging by providing information and market analysis to identify potential abusers.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt
“Price gouging is something that we’re taking incredibly seriously, and we’re exploring all avenues in order to protect Missourians during these unprecedented times,” Schmitt said in a statement. “Our partnership with Amazon is making it easier for our office to find and investigate potential price gougers, and we’re going to continue to work with Amazon as we move forward through this crisis.”

The eight Missouri-based sellers have been charging 2 to 19 times the prices they charged before the pandemic on certain health care items including face masks and hand sanitizer.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is asking anyone who notices substantially inflated prices during this pandemic, especially on medical products or other health-related necessities, to call the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or submit a complaint online at https://ago.mo.gov/civil-division/consumer/price-gouging.

Staff

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