In response to growing concerns Amazon announced Monday a suspension of more than 3,900 selling accounts in the United States for violating the company's fair pricing policies.
Amazon removed over half a million offers from its stores for coronavirus-based price gouging and suspended thousands of accounts to tighten its grip on people trying to make a profit off a shortage of supplies.
"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 statement. "We are constantly monitoring our stores for unfair prices and listings that make false claims in regards to COVID-19."
Amazon said it has "zero tolerance" for price gouging and plans on combating the problem by monitoring stores 24.7 through automated and manual means.
Amazon has systems in place that locate and remove unfairly priced items for its site and the company is working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and policymakers to hold price gougers accountable for their actions.
More than half of Amazon's products are offered by third-party sellers that set their own prices. An "overwhelming majority" are honest sellers that offer products at fair prices, the company estimates.
"Amazon is humbled by the trust our customers have placed in us during this difficult time," the company said in a statement. "We are fully committed to protecting their interests and rising to the challenges posed by COVID-19."
A dedicated team with Amazon is investigating high-demand products like as protective masks and hand sanitizer for potential instances of price gouging.