With coronavirus price gouging including $13 toilet paper, Yost wants consumer-protection law

The Columbus Dispatch | Randy Ludlow

Sticker shock:

— $12.99 for a four-pack of toilet paper.

— $5.68 for a half-gallon of milk.

— $16.99 for a case of water.

— $12.99 for a spray can of disinfectant.

— $79.97 for a pack of surgical masks. Typical price: $25.

— A brick of gun ammunition marked up 33%.

With some items held hostage at high prices amid the coronavirus epidemic, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wants lawmakers to enact an anti-price gouging law.

“I’m outraged that anybody would try to profiteer on a crisis, particularly on items that are necessary for the health and safety of Ohioans,” Yost said in a statement Thursday.

Yost said his office is working on bill language to nullify weaknesses in existing laws as some retatilers jack up prices beyond what seem to be driven by increased costs from suppliers.

His office has received more than 150 complaints alleging unconscionable pricing from major retailers to convenience stores, one of which was buying $2.89-a-gallon milk at Kroger and then marking it up to $5.99.

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