• On May 13, posted a blog post noting, “we need a strong federal anti-price gouging law.” The framework they recommend includes it should 1) kick in immediately when the federal government declares a public health crisis or national emergency; 2) establish clear pricing standards, define who and what are covered by the law, and ensure strong enforcement authority; 3) define pricing prohibitions as "unconscionable or grossly excessive or unconscionably excessive" compared to a reasonable and relevant reference; 4) apply to all levels of the supply chain so that retailers and resellers are not forced to bear price gouging increases by manufacturers and suppliers; 5) apply to the party who actually sets the price of a product; 6) clearly define the scope of products that would apply to the statute and 7) ensure strong enforcement authority.[1]

  • On May 5, agreed to partner with Pfizer, 3M, Citi, Alibaba, Merck and other companies along with the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) branch of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and stop the sale of counterfeit coronavirus-related products. Operation Stolen Promise, which was launched to eliminate illegal activity related to the pandemic, will focus on banned pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, websites defrauding consumers, and other criminal activities involving trade or financial systems, according to the statement.[2]

  • On April 26, confirmed to Reuters that it is piloting the use of video conference calls to verify the identity of merchants who wish to sell goods on its websites, in a new plan to counter fraud.[3]

  • Temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into fulfillment centers; discretionary products must be fulfilled by vendors.[4]

  • Restricted who can sell certain in-demand items (e.g., face masks, hand sanitizer) and said it pulled more than 500,000 high-priced listings and banned more than 2,000 sellers due to price-gouging.[5]

  • In a response to a letter from Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), also said they are 1) proactively monitoring the marketplace for unfair prices and “aggressively” enforcing its fair pricing policy; 2) working with state attorneys general to prosecute bad actors; 3) using their price monitoring methods to continuously compare prices submitted by sellers with current and historic prices within and outside of Amazon; and 4) using machine learning models, in part, to detect price gouging, but has recently stepped up human monitoring as price gouging has spread in light of the coronavirus. This includes “an additional dedicated team” that’s working “24 hours, seven days a week” to spot price gouging on items like protective masks and hand sanitizers. Amazon has also responded to inquiries from several attorneys general.

  • Instituted additional manual audits of products in stores due to the increased risk of price gouging from unscrupulous sellers seeking to evade automated systems and take advantage of customers.[6]

  • Relies on a mix of automated tools and human moderation to enforce its policies, including price gouging, false listings, and review hijacking.[7]

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