The New York State Senate passed a series of bills to address inflation, price gouging, and unfair competition in the marketplace. The legislation specifies “that any actions to create a monopoly or monopsony are illegal and void and allow damages to be recovered in a class action antitrust lawsuit. It would also increase penalties for fraud in connection to an abnormal disruption in the market and ensure that high-volume third-party sellers provide information to guard against counterfeit, fraudulent, or stolen goods being sold to unsuspecting consumers online.” Read the Senate Majority Press Release.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “New York has always prided itself on building a robust economy where everyone can participate and prosper. To achieve this, we must maintain careful regulations and strict oversights that prevent bad actors from spoiling our free market. This legislation addresses new barriers in the digital age, strengthens necessary penalties, and fine-tunes our legal accountability measures so that no harm goes unpunished. This package will allow us to protect the best interests of New York consumers and better uphold the integrity of our marketplace. I thank the Chair of the Committee on Consumer Protection, Senator Kevin Thomas, and the bill sponsors for their attention to this matter.”
Chair of the Committee on Consumer Protection, Senator Kevin Thomas, said, “Unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices have no place here in New York State. This package of legislation will protect consumers by ensuring that financial laws are enforced consistently, keeping our markets fair, transparent, and competitive. I thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Majority for standing up for the rights of New York’s 19.5 million consumers.”
Legislative Components Read More
The Twenty-First Century Anti-Trust Act: S933C, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris, prohibits business actions or practices that establish or maintain a monopoly, monopsony or restraint of trade, requires pre-merger notifications to the Attorney General for businesses, and authorizes class-action lawsuits in the state antitrust law.
Penalties for Disruption-Related Fraud: S4954C, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, increases penalties for fraud that occurs in connection with an abnormal disruption of the market.
Creating transparency and reporting requirements for high volume third party online sellers: S8391, sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas, requires certain high-volume third-party sellers in the online marketplace to provide certain information to the online marketplace and requires verification of such information and technical safeguards for data use.
Member/Sponsor Support Read More
Bill sponsor Deputy Majority Leader Senator Michael Gianaris said, “Our antitrust laws were written a century ago for a radically different economy and they are in desperate need of reform. Corporate power has reached unprecedented and dangerous levels, and we need powerful new laws to protect the public and our economy. I am pleased the Senate is taking this historic step and I look forward to this landmark legislation passing the Assembly and becoming law.”
Bill sponsor Senator Zellnor Myrie said, “New Yorkers have suffered enough during this pandemic and should not be victims to corporations seeking to make a profit off of our pain. Whether it's at the gas pump, in our supermarkets, or in our healthcare system, no New Yorker should be taken advantage of during these challenging times and I am proud to see the passage of the Covid Fraud Accountability Act which will deter these bad actors and ensure that consumers are protected.”