April 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 108

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April 15, 2021

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April 5, 2021: Price Gouging Weekly Roundup

Kansas Governor Asks Kansas Attorney General to Investigation Natural Gas Bills

Kansas natural gas consumers are still reeling from the February winter storm, and Governor Laura Kelly has called for investigations into the price gouging of natural gas. One flower shop in Grand Rapids typical gas bill is between $2,000 and $3,000 a month, but February’s bill was $92,000. The Shawnee Mission School District also received a massive natural gas bill, reporting a $1.6 million bill in March. Kansas businesses may be facing bankruptcy as a result of these natural gas bills, which has prompted Governor Kelly to call on Attorney General Derick Schmidt, a candidate to run against her for governor in 2022, to “play the role assigned to him as attorney general and investigate gas companies.”

New Mexico Utility Regulators Investigate Price Gouging Allegations

A New Mexico gas company alleges that it had to pay 150 times the typical price for gas during the February winter storm that swept the nation. The company reported its typical gas costs are $10 million a year, but the February storm cost an estimated $18.7 million. In response to reports of price gouging, at least four entities have launched investigations into the price changes of utility bills: the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, the New Mexico Public Regulations Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corp.  

District of New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office Gives Update on COVID-19 Related Fraud

On April 2, 2021, New Jersey Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig gave an update on her office’s enforcement efforts to fight COVID-19 related consumer fraud, including price gouging. According to Acting U.S. Attorney Honig, “[e]xploitation of the global pandemic for illicit financial gain victimizes consumers, taxpayers, and federal programs alike. We are working with our law enforcement partners to investigate these schemes and bring to justice all those who would try to take advantage of the programs established by Congress to help America through the pandemic. We will vigorously pursue anyone trying to steal from those programs, engage in the hoarding or price-gouging of necessary personal protective equipment, or otherwise defraud the public.”

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© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 95
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About this Author

Christopher Ondeck Antitrust Litigator chair of  Proskauer Rose nationwide Antitrust Group
Partner

Chris Ondeck is a partner in the Litigation Department and vice-chair of the Antitrust Group. He focuses his practice on representing clients in civil and criminal antitrust litigation, defending mergers and acquisitions before the U.S. antitrust agencies, defending companies involved in government investigations, and providing antitrust counseling.

Chris has handled antitrust matters for clients in a number of industries, including advertising, aerospace, alcoholic beverages, appliances, building materials, defense, medical devices, metals,...

202-416-5865
John Ingrassia, Antitrust Attorney, Telecommunications, Proskauer Law firm
Special Counsel

John Ingrassia is a special counsel and advises clients on a wide range of antitrust matters in various industries, including chemicals, pharmaceutical, medical devices, telecommunications, financial services, health care, and others. His practice includes a significant focus on the analysis of Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-merger notification requirements, the coordination and submission of Hart-Scott-Rodino filings, and the analysis and resolution of antitrust issues related to mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. John has extensive experience with the legal, practical,...

202.416.6869
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