August 16, 2012
In the Media
The Bias in Custom Prices
Letter to the Editor by Jeff Sovern
The New York Times
August 15, 2012
To the Editor:
Re “Shopper Alert: Price May Drop for You Alone” (front page, Aug.
You report that grocers charge different people different prices
for the same products at the same time. Such pricing practices can
lead to higher prices to disfavored races or genders. Studies have
found that many lenders charge minorities more than whites and that
auto dealers charge both African-Americans and women more.
Federal law bars discrimination in lending. Perhaps it is time to
enact laws prohibiting discrimination in retailing.
Jamaica, Queens, Aug. 10, 2012
The writer is a professor of law at St. John’s University and
co-coordinator of the Consumer Law and Policy Blog.