438 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.