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Toward a Per Se Rule Against Price Gouging

BY | September 22, 2020

Price gouging is the use of high prices to ration access to a good in unexpectedly short supply. Because sellers can always recoup their costs by choosing not to ration…

Price gouging is the use of high prices to ration access to a good in unexpectedly short supply. Because sellers can always recoup their costs by choosing not to ration with price and instead allowing the good to sell out, price gouging harms consumers: it transfers wealth from consumers to firms unnecessarily. This harm to consumers could violate the antitrust laws in two ways. First, it could serve as the basis for a per se rule against algorithmic price gouging — surge pricing — because t

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