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Amidst Senator Casey’s ongoing investigation of corporate greed squeezing the budgets of American families, Casey sends letters to retailers linking their pricing practices to greedflation

While all three companies have recently lowered prices, Casey asks why their prices remained high for so long after inflation came down

Casey: “Americans deserve to pay fair prices, and corporations must be held accountable for taking advantage of working families”

NBC News: “Pennsylvania Sen. Casey warns Amazon, Target and Walmart over 'greedflation' pricing”

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent letters to Target, Walmart, and Amazon, linking the retailers’ pricing practice to greedflation and demanding they disclose information about how they have made pricing decisions over the last two years. After years of fast-growing profits for these companies, all three have recently publicly announced price decreases, with Walmart beginning to decrease prices at the end of 2023 and Target and Amazon following suit earlier this year. In his letters, Casey points out that the overall cost of goods began to drop well before these price decreases occurred, and asked for more information about how these wildly profitable companies make pricing decisions.

“Given the slowdown in the price of goods since at least late summer of 2023, Americans should have been seeing decreases in prices for many products for over a year, not just now. This reaffirms that the price increases that consumers have been confronted with have not been inflationary increases, but instead, greedflation-related increases. It is now readily apparent that corporations have had the ability to lower consumers’ costs and still turn a profit. Americans deserve to pay fair prices, and corporations must be held accountable for taking advantage of working families,” wrote Senator Casey.

In the letters to the Nation’s largest, second largest, and sixth largest retailers, Casey linked Target, Walmart, and Amazon’s pricing decisions and record profits over the last three years to greedflation. He also asked the companies to explain their pricing decisions, including how inflation impacts their decision making, the duration of the recently announced price changes, the corporations’ use of shrinkflation, and how they work with brands sold in store to monitor price changes and package changes.

Since November 2023, Chairman Casey has been investigating corporate price gouging and other actions by big corporations that have squeezed the budgets of American families and contributed to the increase in inflation.

In November, Chairman Casey released the first report in his greedflation series, “Greedflation: How Corporations Are Making Record Profits on the Backs of American Families,” detailing how big corporations are using inflation as cover to raise prices and rake in record profits at the expense of middle-class American families and laying out Senator Casey’s vision to hold greedy corporations accountable. Corporate executives claim they’ve “earned the right” to raise prices and that their products “are worth paying a little bit more for.”

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Casey released his second report, “Stuffing Their Pockets: How Big Food and Agriculture Businesses Are Making Your Holiday Meals More Expensive," examining how the agribusiness companies that process Americans’ food have increased prices for everyday staple foods and raising questions about why those price increases are necessary, particularly during the holiday season. Some of these companies have a history of engaging in price-fixing, colluding to raise prices, anti-competitive conduct, and touting their ability to raise prices without limit. Seeking answers, Senator Casey sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Agriculture requesting that the agencies use all necessary resources to investigate possible unfair pricing practices of major chicken and pork processors in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission, in response, assured Senator Casey that policing potentially anticompetitive conduct in food industries continues to be a top priority for the Commission given the high stakes for American families, farmers, and the Nation’s economy.

In December 2023, Casey released his third report of his greedflation series, “Less Bang for Your Buck: Casey Releases Shrinkflation Report Exposing Big Corporations for Reducing Product Size While Keeping Prices High,” calling out household consumer products, food, and beverage corporations for reducing the size of household consumer goods, from toilet paper to cereals to snacks, while continuing to sell them at the same retail price. To better protect families’ pocketbooks, Senator Casey sent letters to the trade associations representing household consumer products, food, and beverage corporations demanding answers about pricing strategies, package size practices, and how shrinkflation affects customers.

In January 2024, Casey released his fourth report of his greedflation series, “Additional Charges May Apply: How Big Corporations Use Hidden Fees to Nickel, Dime, and Deceive American Families detailing how big corporations are tacking on excessive fees at the tail end of everyday purchases, from internet plans to ATM withdrawals. Senator Casey believes that no Pennsylvanian should be blindsided by a junk fee and that the negative impacts of hidden fees can be mitigated by: fighting deceptive practices that allow corporations to hide the fees they charge consumers; preventing corporations from deceptively passing along their expenses to working families through bogus fees; and protecting businesses that are honest about their pricing structures. In a letter to the Government Accountability Office that same month, Senator Casey pushed the government watchdog to examine the effects of corporate greed on American consumers.

In February 2024, Casey introduced legislation to protect American families from greedflation by banning grossly excessive price increases and crack down on corporate price gouging. The same month, Casey also introduced the Shrinkflation Prevention Act, which empowers the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to crack down on corporations that deceive consumers by selling smaller sizes of their products without lowering the prices.

This month, Senator Casey sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra in support of the CFPB’s proposed rule to crack down on excessive overdraft banking penalties. In February, Senator Casey sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan in support of FTC’s proposal to eliminate junk fees across the market.

Read the full text of the letter to Target HERE. Read the full text of the letter to Walmart HERE. Read the full text of the letter to Amazon HERE.