Biden Launches FTC-DOJ Task Force to Combat ‘Corporate Rip-Offs’

( – The Biden administration has announced that a new “strike force” will be established to facilitate efforts between different agencies to stop illegal price gouging amidst criticism of retailers and grocery stores for questionable spikes in the cost of everyday goods.

On Monday, February 4th, the director of the National Economic Council, Lael Brainard, announced the new strike force at a press conference and also spoke about unfair price gouging despite falling prices of common household products. According to Brainard, even though inflation is down, “supply chains have returned to normal,” and items such as milk and eggs have gone down, “some corporations” are continuing to keep prices high.

According to Brainard, some corporations are adding “extra fees,” hidden costs, and “even breaking the law” at times to increase their profits. She added that Biden “is fed up” with such practices “unfairly” raising costs for consumers and decided to take action.

In charge of the strike force are two regulating bodies: the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, which will enforce the law against any corporations engaged in fraudulent, deceptive, or unfair business practices.

The announcement for the “strike force” came ahead of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau meeting to discuss the finalization of a new rule aiming toward cutting expensive credit card fees for late payments, which are costing families around $12 billion annually. The proposal encourages credit card companies to lower the $31 average late fee to $8, a plan the CFPB says could save American families $9 billion annually by removing immunity provisions allowing creditors to increase fees excessively.

Another rule up for consideration by the Federal Communications Commission would prevent landlords of apartment complexes from forcing their tenants to use specific internet, satellite, or cable services, and a Department of Agriculture rule blocking purchasers of poultry and meat from forcing farmers into unfair or deceptive contracts.

Ultimately, the White House says that these actions to fight excessive fees will save American consumers at least $20 billion a year.

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