How the FBI plans to fight price gouging in the US


19 feb 2022 03:20 GMT

“We will not allow companies to collude to overcharge consumers, under the guise of supply chain disruptions,” they say from the agency.

The US Department of Justice has announced the launch of an operation that aims to deter, detect and prosecute those who take advantage of interruptions in the supply chain to obtain “illicit profits”.

In the wake of persistent price increases, which initially stemmed from supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department’s Antitrust Division and the FBI have decided “protect consumers of collusive schemes.” “We will not allow corporations to collude to overcharge to consumers, under the guise” of this crisis, said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter.

“The persistent problem” of such outages “has created an opportunity for criminals set prices and charge customers more,” undermining the country’s economic recovery, explained the deputy director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, Luis Quesada.

“Economies around the world have faced major challenges caused due to supply chain disruptions as a result of the pandemic. Transportation restrictions, disruptions to business operations, and difficulty in obtaining raw materials have led to higher production and shipping costs, which in turn has resulted in higher prices for the consumers. The supply chain disruptions have been wide-ranging and have affected different sectors, from agriculture to healthcare,” the statement read.


This crisis of interruptions has hit the US hard., where inflation reached record levels in January, with an increase of 7.5% compared to the same month in 2021, while consumer confidence plummeted to an eleven-year low. These factors provoked harsh criticism against President Joe Biden and his administration. Meanwhile, from the White House blame to corporate “greed” of the price increase.

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In addition to interruptions in the supply chain, another factor that influenced inflation is the Increased demand amid the recovery of the economy after the hit of the pandemic. The situation was also aggravated by the measures that the US authorities adopted to support their citizens, injecting huge sums of money In the economy.



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