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White House to establish 'strike force' to tackle unfair, illegal pricing

President Joe Biden meets Tuesday with his Competition Council, in the State Dining Room at the White House, to announce a new 'strike force,' led jointly by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to fight "corporate rip-offs," cut down on excessive credit card late fees and help make health care markets more affordable. Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI
1 of 5 | President Joe Biden meets Tuesday with his Competition Council, in the State Dining Room at the White House, to announce a new 'strike force,' led jointly by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to fight "corporate rip-offs," cut down on excessive credit card late fees and help make health care markets more affordable. Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

March 5 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden announced a task force that would tackle junk fees that cost Americans $20 billion each year and other "unfair and illegal pricing" by corporations, the White House said.

The new Strike Force on Unfair Pricing will be led by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and aim to strengthen interagency efforts to find and stop illegal pricing behavior that is "anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive or fraudulent."

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The strike force, along with other federal government agencies, will focus on familiar areas where high prices may have affected consumers and broken the law, such as prescription drugs, healthcare, food and grocery, housing and financial services.

The strike force will also promote competitive agricultural markets and ensure fairness for farmers and ranchers.

"President Biden is committed to making sure corporations are held accountable when they try to rip off Americans, including when they break the law while keeping prices high," the White House said.

At a sixth meeting of the Competition Council meeting, Biden will announce three actions that will take on issues such as ending excessive credit card late fees by closing rule loopholes, eliminating junk fees by various industries and cracking down on "bulk" fees that charge individual and not households for services like the Internet.

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The rule changes would prohibit financial product comparison shopping tools steering customers to products based on kickback, promote competition in food and grocery marketing, make healthcare markets more affordable and competitive, improve transportation systems, institutionalize competition and lower cost and improve access in the communications secto

A RAND Corporation last month released a report saying that U.S. prescription drug prices are much higher than other nations. The report was issued the same day that Medicare sent initial price negotiation offers on 10 drugs for seniors.

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