AMAZON is facing a lawsuit in California over its alleged price gouging of health products during the coronavirus.
In documents filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Amazon.com Inc is accused of “unlawful price increases during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
California’s Unfair Competition Law prohibits raising the price of some consumer goods and services by more than 10 per cent after an emergency has been declared.
Goods include food and drink, cleaning products, personal hygiene products – such as toilet paper – medical supplies, and emergency supplies, such as water, candles and batteries.
Amazon is accused of selling face masks at a 500 per cent price hike, increasing from less than $20 to $120;
Amazon is accused of hiking prices of pain reliever from $18.75 to $62.40, an increase of 233 per cent.
Flour allegedly increased up to 400 per cent, from $22 to $110, according to the suit.
The price rose from $4.65 up to $35.99, an increase of up to 674 per cent, the suit alleges.
Amazon is accused of hiking prices by 100 per cent, from $14.99 to $29.99.
Consumers who believe they may have paid unfair prices can sign up for potential compensation.
The suit says the unlawful increases occurred on third party sales, as well as Amazon’s own product sales, and Amazon is responsible for sets of both alleged violations.
“Some of the unlawful increases were on sales of products supplied by third parties, sales which Amazon controls and reaps huge profits from,” the suit alleges.