August 5, 2021

Volume XI, Number 217

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May 24, 2021 Price Gouging Weekly Roundup

Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends.

Minnesota Landlord Pays for Violating Eviction Moratorium

On May 19, 2021, the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a consent judgement, following a suit against a landlord who had evicted tenants during the state’s eviction moratorium. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-79 provided an exception to the general eviction prohibition, namely landlords who needed a property for themselves or a family member could evict tenants. The Attorney General alleged that the landlord in this case informed her tenants that she needed to move into the property herself, when in reality she had already retained a realtor to sell the property. The terms of the consent judgement requires the landlord to pay $3,575.86, part of which will be used to reimburse the tenants.

North Carolina Gas Prices Stop Rising

Last week, gas prices in Charlotte, North Carolina dropped slightly for the first time since prices spiked approximately 15 cents per gallon. In the fallout of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, North Carolina reported that about 43% of gas stations were without fuel as of May 18, 2021. Gas remains close to the $3.00 mark. The Colonial Pipeline shutdown was a major disruption to North Carolina as the pipeline delivers 45% of the gasoline supply to the East Coast.

More Price Gouging Complaints Surge in Virginia and North Carolina

Within one week of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, over 500 Virginians and over 900 North Carolinians filed complaints of price gouging related to gasoline. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper both declared states of emergency related to the pipeline shutdown. Virginia’s Attorney General announced that his office has sent more than 150 investigative letters to businesses in response to consumer complaints for high prices on gasoline. North Carolina’s Attorney General announced his office is reviewing over 900 complaints, but it is unclear at this time how many of these complaints will be pursued further.

Hawaii’s Ongoing Rental Car Shortage

As tourists return to Hawaii, rental cars continue to be hard to come by. Rates have been reported as high as $700 per day. Visitors seeking alternatives to the large rental car companies are using car sharing apps, but the prices there are still hundreds of dollars per day. In response, the state’s Office of Consumer Protection is investigating the possibility of price gouging. The office has yet to make a final determination on the issue.

© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 144
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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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