Noun 1. price gouging - pricing above the market when no alternative retailer is available
While consumers express concerns about being 'gouged' when prices spike at the gas pump, there is no legal definition of gouging. The Federal Trade Commission has never found a violation of Federal antitrust laws related to gasoline price spikes. An in-depth investigation of the entire oil industry is necessary to determine whether extra charges are driven by collusion among oil companies or simply by legitimate market influences.
Given these complexities, what constitutes price gouging? Is it simply that more than a reasonable price is being charged for a product in someone’s view? Is it a price higher than consumers are used to? Frequently price gouging is spoken of in terms of profiteering, that is, pricing products or services unreasonably high during an emergency or disaster. States are beginning to address these issues by implementing new laws specifically aimed at price gouging during unusual circumstances...
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