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Amazon suspends almost 4,000 seller accounts over price gouging

Amazon
Amazon said it deployed a team to identify and investigate “unfairly priced” products that are in high demand, such as protective masks and hand sanitizer.
(Lisa Werner / Moment Editorial / Getty Images)

Amazon.com Inc. said it has suspended thousands of seller accounts for price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak.

The operator of the largest U.S. online marketplace said it has pulled well over half a million offers and suspended more than 3,900 selling accounts in the U.S. for violating its fair pricing policies.

Amazon said it deployed a team to identify and investigate “unfairly priced” products that are in high demand, such as protective masks and hand sanitizer.

“We are also proactively sharing information with state attorneys general and federal regulators about sellers we suspect have engaged in egregious price gouging of products related to the COVID-19 crisis,” the company said in a statement Monday.

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Since the coronavirus outbreak escalated in the United States, there have been runs on hand sanitizer, toilet paper, bleach wipes, meat and canned soup, among other products. Some people have tried to sell cleaning products and other supplies at inflated prices on Amazon, EBay Inc. and other sites.

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday aimed at preventing hoarding and price increases of supplies.

The government won’t go after a family with a big supply of toilet paper at home, U.S. Atty. Gen. William P. Barr said at a White House briefing, but “if you have a warehouse of surgical masks, you’ll hear a knock on the door.”


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