McNees Minute: COVID Price Gouging

Sponsored Content: McNees Minute

The COVID-19 crisis has caused the Pennsylvania Attorney General to encourage consumers to submit allegations of price gouging.  If the Attorney General finds that there has been a violation of the price gouging statue, the Attorney General may bring an action to impose a civil penalty up to $10,000 for each violation. It is legally considered price gouging in Pennsylvania when the price of the product is 20 percent greater than its price seven days prior to an emergency declaration by the Governor. Businesses can assert defenses to price gouging allegations.  During a national emergency, established businesses often face an increase to their own costs to make a product.  These additional costs often legitimize an increase in the final price of the product to the consumer.  Given the far-reaching authority of the Attorney General in this field, businesses should familiarize themselves with price gouging laws and pay close attention to and document their costs and pricing.

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