Rep. Pisciottano fights corporate price gouging with Stop Price Fixing Act
New bill to protect consumers against artificial price increases
Rep. Nick Pisciottano June 2, 2022 | 12:24 PM
HARRISBURG, June 2 – Today, state Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, introduced the Stop Price Fixing Act, new legislation designed to enhance the ability of the state attorney general to prosecute individuals and businesses that collude to artificially raise the prices of Pennsylvania goods.
“Prices continue to climb and working Pennsylvanians are facing overwhelming financial pressure all while corporations are reporting record profits,” Pisciottano said. “It’s clear that this pressure doesn’t stem from just inflation, it is sadly the result of bad actors using price volatility as an excuse to pad their bottom line at the expense of working families.”
Pisciottano highlighted that price fixing cases are currently far too difficult to prosecute, citing the dire need to pass the Stop Price Fixing Act and provide the attorney general with the necessary tools to enforce price-fixing laws. He noted that his new bill would also shield whistleblowers and encourage individuals with internal knowledge of price-fixing violations to come forward.
"As prices rise at the gas pump and in the grocery store, the General Assembly can take action to help Pennsylvanians by enacting legislation like the Stop Price Fixing Act that protects consumers and ensures our economy is fair for all," Pisciottano said.
Lee Hepner, legal counsel at the American Economic Liberties Project, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization seeking to address America’s ultra-concentrated economic power through policy changes, hailed the bill as fundamental to protecting consumers in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania lawmakers can put money back in the pockets of working families by passing the Stop Price Fixing Act,” Hepner said. “Many of the most dramatic and arbitrary price increases we see are the result of illegal price fixing among a small handful of dominant corporations, yet existing laws make it virtually impossible for the communities harmed by that abuse to seek any relief. The Stop Price Fixing Act gives teeth to today’s unenforceable price-fixing laws and gives working families a fighting chance against shameless profiteering.”
Pisciottano is currently gathering co-sponsors for the bill (H.B. 2641), and it will soon be referred to a House committee.