What is Price Gouging?
Price gouging is a term used to refer to business practices that artificially increase prices at an extreme level. Things have only gotten worse since the 2020 pandemic; price gouging has been on the rise, impacting families all over the country. And while mega-corporations like Amazon continue to rake in record profits, working families bear rising costs.
With corporations continuing to inflate prices while families pay the price, progressives have been calling for control of corporations’ price gouging to protect consumers and hardworking families.
The Lawsuit Against Amazon
A recent example of a price gouging scheme is Amazon and their project “Nessie,” which involved using an algorithm to raise prices as much as possible. The project brought an additional $334 million to Amazon at the expense of consumers paying the high prices.
The Federal Trade Commission and 17 states are suing Amazon over the project due to its “monopolist” methods that eliminate competition and harm consumers.
Corporations Are Raising Prices for Minnesota Families
Due to the lack of legislation, corporations raise consumer prices just because they can.
Corporate price-gouging is affecting communities and businesses in Minnesota. In 2020, JBS, a meatpacking corporation with a pork plant in Worthington, Minnesota, was caught conspiring to artificially increase the price of beef to increase the money in their pocket.
Corporations like Amazon and JBS are artificially raising prices to increase their profit margins at the expense of regular working people.
New Minnesota Laws Holds Corporations Accountable
During the 2023 legislative session, Minnesota progressives worked hard to take measures against mega-corporations that took advantage of the pandemic to raise prices artificially.
The progressive legislature brought two major wins for consumers suffering from the impacts of price gouging. First, Governor Tim Walz signed a bill into law that bans corporations from artificially inflating prices of essential goods during public emergencies. The law is a response to price gouging during the 2020 pandemic, which raised the prices of goods like fuel, water, and food.
In addition to that measure, the legislature approved price controls on pharmaceutical companies over the cost of prescription drugs. The law establishes a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that will review and monitor the cost of prescription drugs sold in Minnesota and will take measures to limit the market costs of these drugs for consumers.
Join the Fight
Progressives in Minnesota are fighting to protect consumers from price gouging and stand up for working families. To stay in the loop and join the fight, sign up now!