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Amazon Calls on US to Write Law to Fight Coronavirus Price Gouging

© AP Photo / Jim MoneThis Monday, July 8, 2019 file photo shows the Amazon Fulfillment warehouse in Shakopee, Minn. Amazon is on the hunt for workers
This Monday, July 8, 2019 file photo shows the Amazon Fulfillment warehouse in Shakopee, Minn. Amazon is on the hunt for workers - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Amazon has removed more than half-a-million offers from its online stores due to novel coronavirus-induced price gouging, reported multiple cases to the US authorities, and now advocates creating a federal law to combat the phenomenon, the company’s top manager Brian Huseman wrote in a corporate blog.
"We've also suspended nearly 4,000 selling accounts in our US store alone for violating our fair-pricing policies. In addition, Amazon has turned over to federal prosecutors and state attorneys general nationwide information about sellers we suspect have engaged in egregious price gouging of products related to the COVID-19 crisis," Huseman wrote.

In the state of Tennessee, Amazon provided information on a seller who, after hoarding over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer he had purchased at dollar stores and attempting to sell them for as much as $70 each, is now under investigation for price gouging and has since donated his stockpile.

Huseman lamented the absence of nationwide unified standards to fight price gouging and called for proposing a new federal law to replace the patchwork of existing federal laws.

"Our collaborative efforts to hold price gougers accountable have clarified one thing: to keep pace with bad actors and protect consumers, we need a strong federal anti-price gouging law", Huseman wrote. "As of now, price gouging is prohibited during times of crisis in about two-thirds of the United States. The disparate standards among states present a significant challenge".

Huseman said Amazon stands ready to work with the Congress and is already "impressed" by the bipartisan commitment to advancing price gouging legislation.

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