In a blog post Wednesday, Brian Huseman, who oversees public policy for the Americas at Amazon, said it isn't enough for individual states to have their own rules about drastic rises in prices for in-demand goods (like hand sanitizer) during emergencies.
"While each state is unique and has the ability to enact individual legislative price gouging triggers and remedies, a federal price gouging law would ensure that there are no gaps in protection for consumers," Huseman wrote, noting that only about two-thirds of states in the US prohibit price gouging.
He also suggested that price gouging be defined as "unconscionable or grossly excessive or unconscionably excessive," rather than using specific percentages like 10% to 25%.
"We want to avoid the $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an emergency goes into effect, while not punishing unavoidable price increases that emergencies can cause, especially as supply chains are disrupted," he wrote.
The blog post comes aslike Amazon have been for items like face masks and hand sanitizer amid the pandemic. Amazon says it's suspended almost 4,000 seller accounts for violating its fair-pricing policies. In March, 34 state attorneys general called on Amazon, Walmart and others to on price gouging.