Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued eight civil investigative demands to third-party Amazon sellers as part of the Attorney General’s Office’s collaborative efforts with Amazon to combat price gouging. The civil investigative demand, which operates as a subpoena, requires the third-party sellers to provide information about their pricing and sales of face masks, respirators, and hand sanitizer.
“Price gouging is something that we’re taking incredibly seriously, and we’re exploring all avenues in order to protect Missourians during these unprecedented times,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Our partnership with Amazon is making it easier for our office to find and investigate potential price gougers, and we’re going to continue to work with Amazon as we move forward through this crisis.”
In order to protect Missouri consumers, Attorney General Schmitt previously announced partnerships with the private sector to combat price gouging and profiteering off the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon has agreed to provide information and market analysis to identify potential price gouging by third-party sellers.
From the information provided by Amazon, the Attorney General has opened investigations into eight Missouri-based sellers who have been charging 2 to 19 times the prices they charged prior to the pandemic on certain healthcare items like face masks and hand sanitizer.
Anyone who sees substantially inflated prices during this pandemic, particularly on medical products or other health-related necessities, is encouraged to report it to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or submitting a complaint online at https://ago.mo.gov/civil-division/consumer/price-gouging.