Comments on the Consumer Protection Law Memorandum on Unfair Price Gouging in the Context of the Swords of Iron War

On October 7, the “Black Saturday”, the State of Israel underwent a horrifying terror attack, which immediately led to the Swords of Iron War with the terror organization Hamas.

These events had an immediate impact on various national levels. Other than the security and the home front levels, the economy was affected as well. In this respect, reports of unusual price increases and an atypical demand for certain products and services started to rise.

This context has led the Commissioner for Consumer Protection at the Ministry of Economy to publish a law memorandum titled ‘Consumer Protection Law – Swords of Iron’. The Memorandum was purposed to address the concern that traders and essential service providers might exploit the special state of emergency to unfairly raise prices.

The Brandeis Institute’s detailed reference to the Memorandum emphasizes that regulatory intervention to maintain fair pricing, especially during this period, is a welcome initiative.

However, the Brandeis Institute suggests to expand the Memorandum to cover a wider range of products and services, simplify the evaluation of ‘exceptional pricing’, and make the proposed arrangement permanent, as is customary in many countries around the world. These changes would help ease the authority’s burden in enforcing fair pricing.