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UK Watchdog Could Seek Emergency Powers During Coronavirus Crisis

 |  March 22, 2020

Profiteers seeking to exploit panicked shoppers by hiking the price of essential goods face a crackdown from the UK’s competition watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a Covid-19 taskforce and is prepared to seek more draconian emergency powers to tackle firms which are overcharging.

It has already contacted some sellers over the high prices being charged for hand sanitiser as demand has rocketed.

The regulator plans to rapidly identify companies responsible, and take swift action if they break rules and fail to heed warnings.

We hope that such action will not be necessary, but we will do whatever is required to stop a small minority of businesses that may seek to exploit the present situation,” Andrea Coscelli, chief executive officer of the CMA, said in a statement.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 10,000 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organizationsaid the disease is now infecting people at a faster pace. While health agencies struggle to contain the virus, citizens have raced to stock up on food and other essential items, often leading to empty supermarket shelves.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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