The company will pay about $81,000 in civil penalties and about $62,000 in restitution for the alleged gouging that began after the pandemic started. Safeway did not admit any wrongdoing and cooperated in the investigation.
RELATED: Coronavirus outbreak leading to illegal price-gouging, California AG warns
Prosecutors said that Safeway marked up two brands of hand sanitizer by 50% over their wholesale cost, which is prohibited by an April 2020 emergency order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Customers were allegedly paying $5.99 for Raff Distillerie hand sanitizer and $9.99 for Ocean Fresh hand sanitizer, the complaint says. According to prosecutors, the prices were $.47 and $1.01 over the legally acceptable prices for the goods. Prosecutors began their investigation following a complaint by a citizen over the prices.
RELATED: Coronavirus News: Sellers accused of price gouging amid sanitizer shortage
As part of the judgement, Safeway must abide by California laws. Albertsons Companies, which owns Safeway, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.
App users: For a better experience, click here to view the story in a new window
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic