AG Healey Urges Online Marketplaces To Prevent COVID-19 Price Gouging

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and 32 other states' AGs are reminding online marketplaces Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Walmart, and Craigslist that they aren't exempt from price gouging laws as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

She and the other AGs are calling on those web marketplaces to regulate their platforms to keep from allowing price gouging products that are in short supply due to the crisis.

You can view the AGs' letters to the five companies here.

"These companies need to step up their measures to stop price gouging on their online marketplaces immediately," said AG Healey. "Price gouging of essential items like this has prevented health care workers and residents from getting what they need to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the virus."

According to Healey's office, there have been wild examples of price gouging seen on online marketplaces: a two-liter bottle of hand sanitizer was recently listed for sale on Craigslist for $250, and packs of face masks were going for $40-50 on eBay.

Healey and the other AGs want the companies to set hard caps on price increases during emergencies, start their price gouging protections before emergency declarations come out, and create and maintain a feature where consumers can report price gouging to the companies.

The public can also call Healey's office's Consumer Protection Division at 617-727-8400 to report price gouging. They can also file complaints online.

On Tuesday, Healey called on the Trump administration to prioritize the production of personal protective equipment needed by front-line workers.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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