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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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279 views   |   2   |   Last updated on May 22, 2020    COVID-19

The Texas law on price gouging can be found in Section 17.46(b)(27) of the Business & Commerce Code. It reads as follows:

(b) Except as provided in Subsection (d) of this section, the term "false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices" includes, but is not limited to, the following acts: […]

(27) subject to Section 17.4625, taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, or by the president of the United States by:
(A) selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or
(B) demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity;

Note that according to Section 17.4625 of the Business & Commerce Code, a disaster must have been formally declared by the governor or the president in order for these provisions to take effect.

This law only covers prices for certain items: “fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity”.

If you suspect that a business is illegally price gouging during a disaster, the Texas Attorney General recommends that you file a consumer complaint with their office. For more information, please see the Attorney General’s page on price gouging

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