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Democrats Call on Biden to Investigate Price Gouging

Couple shopping for groceries.

In a letter recently sent to President Joe Biden, a group of Democratic lawmakers urged him to investigate grocery store chains for price manipulations, reports Time Magazine. In the letter, the lawmakers requested the president use executive authority to take additional enforcement action to address rising food prices.

The lawmakers’ action comes after a Federal Trade Commission report found that major grocery chains may have taken advantage of supply chain disruptions to bolster profits during the pandemic.

One of the signatories of the letter, Senator Elizabeth Warren, discussed the issue with Time.

“Big food companies want to keep these huge profits and they're hiring plenty of lobbyists to keep Congress from acting,” said Warren. “Congress has stalled out on doing work that it could do to help families lower costs… and the President has the tools to fight back.”

The letter highlights many exclusionary practices that may have contributed to the problem, including slotting fees for product placement, category captain arrangements that skew market dynamics, and rebates incentivizing purchasing from dominant firms, which the lawmakers say block smaller suppliers and increase costs, according to the report.

“Our letter is about pointing out areas that exist in the law, but have long been underused,” said Warren. “Now is the perfect moment to move.” Full Story