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Amazon Accused Of Price-Gouging In CA Class-Action Suit

 |  April 23, 2020

A California lawsuit claims the retail giant Amazon has inflated prices for essential goods by more than 600% , violating California consumer-protection laws

California consumers hit Amazon.com with a class-action lawsuit accusing the retail giant of violating state consumer-protection laws by price-gouging during the COVID-19 public health crisis, according to attorneys at Hagens Berman.

According to the lawsuit filed April 21, 2020, in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the world’s largest retailer, Amazon.com, has engaged in “unconscionable” and unlawful price increases during the COVID-19 pandemic, inflating prices for essential goods by upwards of 672%. Under California law, any price increase exceeding 10% during a state or local emergency is presumptively illegal.

“California law rightly prohibits profiteering from a public health crisis,” the suit begins. “Exploiting consumers in their most vulnerable hour is not only contrary to basic human decency—it is a criminal offense in California and presumptively unlawful under California’s Unfair Competition Law…Amazon’s position as a vital seller in times of contagion does not place it above the law.”

“Many Americans were already barely making ends meet before the outbreak of COVID-19, and the crisis gave many their first encounter with resource scarcity and widespread financial distress,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney for consumers in the class action. “Amazon has chosen to take advantage of this global crisis facing all of us by profiteering on vulnerable consumers.”

The lawsuit states that consumers have turned to online shopping to fulfill their essential needs, particularly as warnings mounted from the Centers for Disease Control and other officials to practice social distancing, stay home and shelter in place, all to curb the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. “Amazon’s sales have never been higher, and since the COVID-19 pandemic began, its sales in some categories (e.g., home items) are up more than 1000 percent,” according to the lawsuit.

Full Content: Yahoo

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