Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced subpoenas issued to 43 third-party vendors in the state that are alleged to have gouged prices of essential items on Amazon.com to take advantage of greater demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state announced it would coordinate with Amazon itself to ensure proper price enforcement.
The vendors were accused of excessive increases of prices for items such as hand sanitizer, disinfectants and face masks, in some cases raising prices by as much as 1,662 percent.
According to Moody, her office started communicating with Amazon about the issue even before Florida’s state emergency was declared. The state of emergency officially activated the price-gouging laws in the state.
In working with Moody’s office, Amazon established a point of contact and specific mailbox for the attorney general to provide and escalate complaints from consumers in Florida. It also committed to continuing to work with her office and act on complaints that necessitate immediate action. Floridians have also been able to receive refunds, even when they items they purchased were from third parties.
Amazon also gave the attorney general’s office more detailed information about the 43 sellers and the actions they have been taking.
Moody says Amazon has been an excellent partner in this enforcement and that it has “stepped up its vigilance” to a remarkable degree during the pandemic. The company has also begun removing posts selling products at inflated prices.
If you become aware of price gouging occurring during the pandemic, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group for information on how to report your findings.