Amazon cracks down on coronavirus price gouging, false claims


Men and women are wearing masks at Myeongdong on February 20, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

Jong-Hyun Kim |Anadolu Company | Getty Illustrations or photos

Amazon is cracking down on cost gouging and products that make phony coronavirus promises on its marketplace.

Amazon told CNBC it has blocked or eliminated far more than 1 million goods that produced suspect or misleading promises about the coronavirus. The enterprise reported it also suspended or took down tens of thousands of gives from 3rd-bash merchants it accused of charging shoppers unfair costs. Amazon didn’t give precise figures for how many listings it eliminated or suspended for cost gouging.

“There is no put for value gouging on Amazon,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. The spokesperson pointed to Amazon’s “long-standing” plan on good pricing, which states that the business doesn’t permit pricing techniques that hurt customer trust, this sort of as setting a value on a product or service that is “noticeably bigger than new selling prices on or off Amazon.”

Amazon is continuing to keep an eye on the market and take away gives that violate its policies on rate gouging, the spokesperson reported. The business also continues to just take action on accounts that checklist items with suspect or deceptive coronavirus claims, like suspending or eliminating offering privileges, they extra.

Amazon also added a discover to queries for “coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” “n95 mask” and other coronavirus-connected information that directs customers to the Centers for Disease Management and Prevention for more details about prevention and treatment method of the disorder.

The shift will come as the coronavirus carries on to unfold. At least 2,810 people today have died from the disease, although overall confirmed cases have risen to more than 82,500. The bulk of verified instances are in China, but the condition has distribute swiftly over the previous 7 days via South Korea, Iran and Italy.

Last week, CNBC noted Amazon was removing listings on its marketplace that claimed to support prevent the distribute of the coronavirus. Previously this month, it sent email messages to some third-celebration sellers that stated it would get down listings saying to be a treatment, cure or cure for the coronavirus. Amongst the products and solutions it taken out ended up listings for a surgical confront mask and a spray disinfectant, even though the sellers have been equipped to get their listings reinstated after they removed the deceptive health care claims.

3rd-celebration sellers were also warned not to hike the cost of encounter masks. A package deal of 100 confront masks, the most effective-vendor in Amazon’s health care experience mask class, was priced at $15 – virtually 4 situations the price it charge a couple of months ago, Wired described, citing data from rate monitoring company Keepa.

Amazon was 1 of quite a few tech giants that met with the World Well being Corporation (WHO) at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, workplaces on Feb. 13 to focus on how to cease misinformation about the coronavirus on their platforms.



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