Price Gouging Weekly Round Up - June 21, 2021
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 for our clients and friends.
A bill amending the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act is headed to the Governor’s desk. If enacted, the bill would prohibit various forms of “unfair trade practices,” including price gouging. Although the Governor exercised authority under emergency declarations to ban price gouging during the pandemic, Delaware is among a minority of states still lacking a specific price gouging statute.
Following the expiration of the Massachusetts COVID-19 related state of emergency on June 15, 2021, the state legislature is passing a flurry of legislation to extend many emergency policies covered by the Governor’s pandemic-era protections. Of these measures, the 15% price cap on the fees third party delivery services can charge restaurants for delivering their food has not been extended. While the House had originally included the price cap in its version of the bill, the compromise bill signed by the Governor on Wednesday morning did not include the price cap.
As large events are picking up again, organizers in New Hampshire face prices up to five times the normal price for portable toilets. For example, festivals like Motorcycle Week expecting thousands of visitors, the town of Laconia typically spends $5,000 on 40 units, but this year, the lowest bidder came in at just under $25,000 for the same number of portable toilets. This 400% increase may be attributable to the decrease in manufacturing as orders were cancelled or deferred during the pandemic.