US Democrats Paul Tonko, Richard Blumenthal, Charles E. Schumer and Ben Ray Luján have introduced the ‘Stopping Grinch Bots Act’, which aims to prevent scalpers from deploying bots and snagging popular products to sell them at a higher price. to sell.
While this isn’t the first time politicians have proposed measures to fight bots and scalpers, the aforementioned bill comes at a time when the practice is at an all-time high, exacerbated by the pandemic. In their bill, Tonko et al specifically condemn “cyber Grinches” that put a damper on the main holiday season.
A press release from Tonko’s office reads:
At a time when families need to spend time with their loved ones, digital ‘Grinch bots’ are forcing Americans to scour online sites in hopes of finding an affordable gift or paying exorbitant prices for a single toy. These bots aren’t just squeezing out consumers, they’re a problem for small businesses, local retailers, and other entrepreneurs trying to make sure they have the best items in stock for their customers. Our Grinch Bots Act works to level the playing field and prevent scalpers from sucking hard-working parents dry during the holiday season. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to prevent these Grinch bots from stealing the holiday season.
As noted by Video Games Chronicle, British politicians have discussed similar proposals, but nothing has become law yet. The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment previously said it has had “constructive talks” with the government on the matter.