Whitmer revises order against price gouging

The Detroit News

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has clarified an executive order aimed at curbing price-gouging during the coronavirus crisis.

Under an order she issued Sunday, no business or person may sell products grossly above the purchase price at which they bought the product.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the state's first two cases of coronavirus, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Michigan State Police headquarters in Windsor Township, Mich.

Under a revision the governor released Friday, as before, a person cannot sell any product for more than 20% above what they paid for it as of March 9. Her new order adds an exception for goods that are not emergency supplies and cost more than $1,000.

Under both the original and updated order, an exception is allowed if the seller can prove the price increase is attributable to an increase in cost of bringing the product to market or that an extraordinary discount was in effect March 9. The order will be in effect until April 16.

State officials have received numerous complaints of price-gouging during the coronavirus crisis, with hand sanitizer and cleaning products among the items being reported with exorbitant markups.

“These are challenging times, and we must support one another, not take advantage of others,” Whitmer said. “I will continue to work closely with the Attorney General to enforce these protections and to hold bad actors accountable. I'm going to take every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families."