The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

AG James announces price gouging rules to protect consumers and small businesses


NEW YORK >> New York Attorney General Letitia James recently proposed rules to protect consumers and small businesses from corporate profiteeri­ng. The rules would strengthen enforcemen­t of New York’s price gouging law, which was updated in 2020 to grant the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) rulemaking authority. The proposed rules will make it more straightfo­rward to investigat­e and combat price gouging by setting clear guardrails against price increases during emergencie­s. The proposed rules are a continuati­on of Attorney General James’ efforts to protect consumers and are open to a 60-day public comment period.

“Soaring costs of essentials have pushed hardworkin­g New Yorkers to the brink and forced hard decisions around kitchen tables,” said James. “The rules proposed by my office will bolster our efforts to crack down on price gouging and ensure that large corporatio­ns do not take advantage of New Yorkers during difficult times. When times get tough, New Yorkers can trust that my office will always have their back.”

New York’s price gouging law bans companies throughout the supply chain from taking advantage of a market disruption to increase their profits for vital and necessary goods and services. The statute asserts that an abnormal market disruption is caused by extreme weather events, military action, energy disruption­s, strikes, or national or local emergencie­s, or another event that leads to a declared state of emergency. In 2020, the New York State Legislatur­e amended the law to empower OAG with rulemaking authority.

In March 2022, OAG launched the first-ever price gouging rulemaking process to gather informatio­n from consumers and industry experts on how to strengthen and clarify the state’s price gouging statute. The proposed rules announced today are informed by OAG’S decades of experience enforcing the price gouging statute and by the public comments submitted by advocates, trade groups, and economic experts. The proposed rules include actions to:

The rules announced continue James’ efforts to combat price gouging and protect consumers. Throughout the pandemic, during major disruption­s, and ahead of declared disasters, James has issued consumer warnings against price gouging on essential supplies.

In Dec. 2022, James cautioned against price gouging ahead of a snowstorm that hit Western New York. In May 2022, James issued warnings to more than 30 retailers across the state to stop overchargi­ng for baby formula after consumers reported unreasonab­ly high prices. In April 2021, she recovered 1.2 million eggs from one of the nation’s largest egg producers, Hillandale Farms, for pricegougi­ng eggs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed rules are open to comment for a 60day public comment period. Comments can be submitted by emailing: stopillega­lprofiteer­ After reviewing public comments, the rules may be promulgate­d as is or may be revised upon further analysis.

 ?? RICHARD DREW, FILE — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference at her office, in New York.
RICHARD DREW, FILE — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference at her office, in New York.

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