Pennsylvania Statutes Title 73 P.S. Trade and Commerce § 232.4. Price gouging prohibited

(a) Prohibition.--During and within 30 days of the termination of a state of disaster emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to the provisions of 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301(c) (relating to general authority of Governor), it shall be a violation of this act for any party within the chain of distribution of consumer goods or services or both to sell or offer to sell the goods or services within the geographic region that is the subject of the declared emergency for an amount which represents an unconscionably excessive price.

(b) Evidence of unconscionably excessive price.--It is prima facie evidence that a price is unconscionably excessive if, during and within 30 days of the termination of a state of disaster emergency, parties within the chain of distribution charge a price that exceeds an amount equal to or in excess of 20% of the average price at which the same or similar consumer goods or services were obtainable in the affected area during the last seven days immediately prior to the declared state of emergency.

(c) Nonapplicability.--

(1) The provisions of this section shall not apply if the increase in price is due to a disparity that is substantially attributable to additional costs that arose within the chain of distribution in connection with the sale of consumer goods or services, including replacement costs, credit card costs, taxes and transportation costs.

(2) The provisions of this act shall not apply to the sale of goods or services sold by a person pursuant to a tariff or rate approved by a Federal or Commonwealth agency with power and authority over sales of such goods or services.

(d) Price reduction.--A person selling consumer goods or services who receives any price reduction, after an increase in his cost which is substantially attributable to costs that arose within the chain of distribution as set forth in subsection (c), may rebut an allegation of selling at an unconscionably excessive price if he reduces the price by a like amount within a reasonable period, not to exceed seven days, of acquiring the consumer good or service at such reduced price.

(e) Notification.--A trade association, corporation, partnership, person or other entity may register an agent for the purpose of being notified when the Governor declares and ceases a state of emergency.  The Governor or his designee is responsible for notifying the registered agents upon the declaration and cessation of the state of emergency.  Lack of notification or the failure to receive notification of the declaration and cessation of an emergency shall not be a defense with respect to any violation of this act.


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