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‘Insidious Exploitation’: Bezos Doubles Wealth as Amazon Essential Product Prices Rise 1,000% Amid Pandemic

A report by Public Citizen found that “Amazon is engaged in price gouging on products it sells directly” through its Amazon Essentials line, with products like facemasks and corn starch seeing elevenfold increases in price.

By Alan Macleod | 14 September 2020

MINT PRESS NEWS — A new report from advocacy group Public Citizen details how retail giant Amazon “misled the public, law enforcement, and policymakers about price increases during the pandemic,” raising their prices on essential products “to levels that would be considered violations of price gouging laws in many states.” The prices of many products in high demand during the pandemic jumped by over 1,000 percent when compared to this time last year.

As accusations of price gouging began, Amazon blamed “bad actors,” declaring in an official statement that, “there is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” committing itself to “working vigorously” to ensure fair pricing, and “collaborating with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies” to “hold price gougers accountable” and to protect the interests of their customers.

Yet Public Citizen’s report found that “Amazon is engaged in price gouging on products it sells directly” itself, through its Amazon Essentials line. Disposable face masks and corn starch were the most inflated prices, jumping elevenfold from earlier in the year. Below is a list of ten Amazon Essential products tracked, including the percentage the items increased in cost. Similar price rises were tracked among third party sellers on the platform as well. […]

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