Louisiana AG says his office has seen 'several hundred' cases of price gouging
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a bakery in Germany began making toilet paper-inspired desserts.
Louisiana has seen "several hundred" cases of price gouging, according to state Attorney General Jeff Landry, as states work to keep essential supply lines open and fair during the coronavirus pandemic.
Landry told Fox News that his office had "seen and looked at ... several hundred [cases] for sure" while making clear that most people and businesses in his state were following the law.
"People are trying to take advantage of a bad situation to begin with," Landry said. "Unfortunately it’s the bad apples in the bunch that are trying to spoil the whole bunch."
Of those who may be in a position to price gouge but are choosing not to, Landry said, "[t]hat’s certainly heartwarming that there are some great people left out there in the world who will do the right thing when given the opportunity."
But prosecuting price gouging during an epidemic rather than a natural disaster like a hurricane presents unique challenges, Landry said.
"Price gouging has certainly become something that’s a subjective test … from an enforcement standpoint," Landry said. "When you have natural disasters it’s much easier to prove price gouging" because the emergency is only happening in one specific location.
Landry lauded some grocery stores that are putting limits on the number of certain products individuals can buy in order to make sure they stay stocked after an initial panic that saw shelves cleared out of items like toilet paper. He said actions like that could hold prices in check by ensuring the supply of essential goods remains high enough to satisfy peoples' needs.
Landry also complimented big online platforms for doing their best to crack down on sellers who were price gouging.
"Amazon and eBay were pulling certain products off or they were monitoring the prices as they came in... Doing those things is certainly very responsible on their part and it really lends to being a good corporate citizen," Landry said. "Most of the responses we’ve seen from everybody seem to be doing the right thing."
Landry was one of 33 state attorneys general who signed letters to big tech companies last week asking them to work with states to prevent price gouging.
"We believe you have an ethical obligation and duty to help your fellow citizens in this time of need by doing everything in your power to stop price gouging in real-time," the letter read.