3M Files Lawsuit Against Amazon Merchant for Price Gouging on Masks

In a May 6, 2009 file photo a store attendantholds an N-95 mask over a box of disposable surgical masks in Manila, Philippines. Health workers caring for patients who have or may have swine flu should wear a special type of mask called an N95 respirator, not looser-fitting surgical masks, …
AP Photo/ Pat Roque/file

3M has reportedly filed a lawsuit against a merchant on Amazon selling the company’s masks for more than 18 times their list price. The target of the lawsuit, Mao Yu and his affiliated companies, made $350,000 selling the masks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 3M, the manufacturer of N95 masks which are in high demand during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, has filed a lawsuit against an Amazon merchant it accuses of price gouging by selling masks for more than 18 times their list price.

The lawsuit was filed by 3M on Monday in federal court in California and stated that Mao Yu and his companies sold what were described as 3M masks for the average price of $23.21 each on Amazon.

N95 masks manufactured by 3M can block approximately 95 percent of small particles. The masks usually sell for $1.25 per mask. Yu charged customers over $350,000 in total according to 3M and Amazon.

Amazon has had issues with price gouging on its platform since the pandemic began. The firm’s Vice President of Customer Trust, Dharmesh Mehta, stated that Amazon had removed more than 500,000 offers of pandemic-related products and suspended more than 6,000 seller accounts for alleged price gouging.

3M has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against mask sellers in recent months due to price gouging, trademark infringement, and false advertising. Colette Durst, a trademark lawyer for 3M, commented: “It saddens me that there are so many people taken advantage of in the pandemic.”

3M claimed in its lawsuit that Yu sold 3M-labeled masks across multiple accounts on Amazon. 3M is now requesting that Yu stop selling 3M products and turn over any profits from previous sales to 3M which the firm claims it will donate to charity.

Price gouging has been rampant across Amazon’s platform in recent months, in March Breitbart News reported that a man was banned from selling over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer on Amazon.

Breitbart News reported at the time:

One day after news of the first coronavirus death in the United States was reported, brothers Matt and Noah Colvin began cleaning out their local store shelves of sanitizing products, according to the New York Times.

For the next three days, Noah drove across Tennessee to Kentucky and filled a U-Haul truck with hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes he bought from “little hole-in-the-wall dollar stores in the backwoods,” his brother explained, because “the major metro areas were cleaned out.”

Matt remained in Chattanooga to receive shipments of sanitizer and wipes he ordered online, with the intention of selling them on his Amazon account.

“Mr. Colvin said he had posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and immediately sold them all for between $8 and $70 each, multiples higher than what he had bought them for,” the article read.

However, Amazon pulled the items from his account and thousands of other listings the next day and suspended some of the sellers for their actions.

The company also warned them that if they kept running up prices, they would lose their accounts entirely.

Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com


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