MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced a partnership with eBay to stop online price gouging of Alabamians during the current pandemic.
“I am pleased to welcome the cooperation of eBay in assisting my office in locating and shutting down online price gouging related to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Attorney General Marshall. “While unscrupulous operators too often prey upon the public during times of disaster, e-commerce businesses like eBay have the ability to identify bad actors and stop their illicit businesses from claiming more victims.”
eBay has a policy in place that prohibits price gouging. The site recently announced it would temporarily prohibit the sale of certain masks and hand sanitizers, while placing additional restrictions on the sale of baby formula, baby wipes, diapers, tampons, and toilet paper, due to concerns that inflated prices for these products may violate applicable price gouging laws.
In addition, it added a price gouging reporting tool, allowing users to directly report concerning listings to eBay representatives for review.
“At eBay, our priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and employees around the world. We have been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have taken significant measures to block or quickly remove items from our marketplace that make false health claims or offer products at inflated prices in violation of applicable laws,” said Aaron Johnson, eBay Vice President of Legal. “We share Attorney General Marshall’s concerns about protecting consumers from price gouging and look forward to continuing to collaborate on this important issue.”
Attorney General Marshall announced that Alabama’s price gouging law is now in effect with the issuance of a State Public Health Emergency by Governor Kay Ivey on March 13.
The people of Alabama are encouraged to report suspected price gouging to the Consumer Interest Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office using the online form available at https://www.alabamaag.gov/consumercomplaint, or by calling 1-800-392-5658 to receive a paper form by mail to complete and return.