Delaware Attorney General Focuses on Coronavirus Price Gouging

As consumers flock to grocery stores to buy essential needs for self isolation and quarantining, Delaware’s Attorney General Kathy Jennings is cracking down on price gouging.

The Attorney General said on Wednesday “We will not tolerate preying on people’s fear and uncertainty in a public health emergency.” She continued “More than ever, we need to support one another. Exploiting a pandemic for profit is not just shameful and dangerous – it’s also illegal.”

Governor John Carney has signed an executive order that places stiff penalties on price gouging, defined as a 10 percent or greater increase in prices above normal levels, except when the increase is attributable to increased supplier costs.

The Governor’s State of Emergency Declaration reads, in part: “No entity doing business in this state engage in price gouging as a result of this public health emergency” and “A violation of this paragraph shall be deemed an unlawful practice.”

Consumers can report suspected price gouging to the Delaware Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit at de.gov/consumer