Amazon suspends 3,900 accounts for price gouging amid pandemic

FILE- In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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(KING) - Amazon announced it has suspended more than 3,900 selling accounts in the U.S. for “violating our fair pricing policies” amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The company said Monday it has also removed over 500,000 offers from stores due to “coronavirus-based price gouging.”

Amazon said it is monitoring its stores for unfair prices and listings that “make false claims in regards to COVID-19.”

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“We began taking these enforcement actions promptly upon discovering this kind of misconduct, and we’ve been partnering directly with law enforcement agencies to combat price gougers and hold them accountable,” Amazon said in a blog post.

Earlier this month, Amazon said it blocked or removed over 1 million products for suspect or misleading claims.

The company's Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct requires all sellers to adhere to a list of policies when selling products on its site. Some offenses and prohibited content can result in the suspension of an Amazon account.

The company announced on March 17 that it will only accept shipments of cleaning equipment, medical supplies and household goods from suppliers at its warehouses for the next three weeks to fill surging demand of those items. The online retailer has been sold out of items like disinfecting wipes and toilet paper as the new coronavirus spreads and more people shop online at home.

Amazon said the restrictions will last until April 5. It applies to large vendors and third-party sellers, who list items to sell on Amazon.com directly.