Hobby Lobby reached a deal with the Virginia Attorney General in an action accusing the retailer of deceptive pricing.
According to the complaint, the arts and crafts retail chain “routinely” advertised discounts compared to “other sellers,” but did not disclose what its prices were actually being compared to, as required by state law.
“Comparison shopping can be a useful tool for finding good deals, but comparison price advertising only works if businesses are clear about their prices and how they compare to competitors,” AG Mark Herring said in a statement.
In addition to paying the state an $8,000 civil penalty, Hobby Lobby is subject to a permanent injunction against future violations of the state’s Comparison Price Advertising Act.
Why it matters: Deceptive pricing suits have been a popular choice for consumer class actions—JCPenny was one recent target—and now regulators, such as the Virginia AG, are getting in on the act.