You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Watchdog calls for emergency laws to crackdown on coronavirus profiteering

0
Written by:
19/05/2020
The UK’s competition watchdog has advised the government to introduce emergency laws to stop sellers profiteering during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said legislation is needed to crackdown on businesses charging inflated prices for essential products such as hand sanitiser.

It said it has written to “hundreds of businesses” asking them to explain their prices and will use “our existing powers to the maximum extent” where there’s evidence laws have been broken.

The CMA said it received almost 21,000 complaints about coronavirus-related issues between 10 March and 19 April.

It said it has written to 87 traders that have collectively been the subject of over 2,500 complaints regarding unjustifiable price rises.

An investigation by consumer group Which? found in-demand items were being sold for at least double the typical supermarket price on some online marketplaces.

For example, Carex hand wash and sanitiser were being sold on Amazon for five times the typical supermarket price and 9% were on sale for ten times the price.

A CMA spokesperson said: “Our Covid-19 taskforce continues to scrutinise reports of potentially harmful sales practices, including inflated price rises. The vast majority of businesses are doing the right thing, but where there is evidence that firms may have broken the law, we’ll be using our existing powers to the maximum possible extent.

“We’ve already written to hundreds of businesses asking them to explain their inflated prices, and what we find out will help us decide whether and where we can take further action.

“Along with our existing powers, we have also advised the government on options for emergency time-limited legislation that could give a better chance of dealing with this type of problem.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

If you’ve been ‘furloughed’ by your company, here’s what it means…

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Ovo Energy to cut 2,600 jobs

Ovo has announced plans for 2,600 redundancies as the coronavirus lockdown accelerates SSE integration plans.

Close