The United States warns against price manipulation with the excuse of the pandemic

The US Justice Department on Thursday warned companies not to take advantage of supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to manipulate prices.

“Temporary supply chain disruptions should not serve up illegal conduct,” Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter said in a statement.

“The Antitrust Division will not admit that companies collude to overcharge consumers under the guise of supply chain disruptions,” Kanter said.

Luis Quesada, a member of a specialized division of the FBI, said that the alterations in supply “gave criminals the opportunity to adjust prices and charge more.”

“The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to collaborate and investigate strategies that violate our antitrust laws and stifle our economic recovery.”

The Justice Department did not identify any specific industry but warned that supply disruptions have impacted sectors ranging from agriculture to health care.

The Justice Department also said it has formed a working group to examine global supply chain issues with the governments of Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

That group is developing and sharing intelligence to detect and combat harmful practices.

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