LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge sent letters to Amazon, eBay and Walmart which allow third-party sellers to offer consumer goods through online retail platforms. The letter notified the companies’ CEOs that Arkansas’s price gouging laws automatically went into effect on March 11, 2020, after Governor Hutchinson’s state of emergency declaration. The letter also praised the companies for their proactive response in preventing price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged them to take further action to stop bad actors from artificially raising prices on basic needs products during this public health crisis.
“Arkansans have enough on their minds right now and paying exponentially inflated prices for basic necessities shouldn’t be one of them,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am committed to working with online retail platforms to hold pandemic profiteers accountable to the full extent of the law.”
Arkansas’s price gouging law prevents individuals or businesses from increasing product prices by more than 10 percent of what the product would have cost prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 11, 2020. Violators can face criminal charges and fines as well as civil penalties of up to $10,000 per incident. Arkansans can report price gougers to the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.