June 24, 2013
Rep. Susan Davis Would Require Companies to Disclose Online Price Discrimination
WASHINGTON – Did you know that if you live in a certain town or view certain websites, or if you use a Mac instead of a PC, you could be paying more when you shop online? Most consumers are unaware that Internet companies are now adopting a practice known as “dynamic pricing.” Without the their knowledge, some Internet companies are using consumers’ personal information – including browser history and IP address – to alter the price of their products.
Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to empower consumers and require that Internet companies disclose whether they are adjusting a product or service’s price based on the consumer’s personal information.
“This bill will give the consumer the necessary information to compare prices effectively and give them a choice in which retailers they want to frequent,” said Davis. “It is time to ensure that consumers are aware that the price they see on the screen may not be the price that everyone else is seeing.”
The Ensuring Shoppers Honest Online Pricing (E-SHOP) Act would require an Internet company to clearly and prominently disclose the use of a price-altering program to a consumer prior to the final purchase of a good or service.
Consumer Watchdog has endorsed Davis’s bill.