Wal-Mart to pay penalties in settlement with New York

By Melody Dareing | Sep 18, 2014

Eric T. Schneiderman   The Office of the Attorney General of New York

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office reached a settlement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. regarding false advertising for Coca-Cola products on Tuesday.

The settlement requires Wal-Mart to pay more than $66,000 in penalties and other costs, to improve its internal reporting to more quickly act on information it receives from consumers about overcharges, and to change business practices to comply with state law.

Schneiderman's office claimed that the store overcharged customers purchasing Coke products in the midst of advertising a nationwide sale. 

Wal-Mart launched a sale in June 2014 advertising 12 packs of Coke products for $3. New York customers purchasing the products were routinely charged $3.50, according to Schneiderman's office. 

Officials at a Buffalo store  told a complaining consumer the advertisement was a national ad and didn't apply in New York. Store staff also told unhappy customers that New York had a "sugar tax."

The AG's office said the markup of more than 16 percent above the advertised price violates New York State’s general business laws.

“There has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or how powerful, and that is why our office must ensure that even the largest corporations cannot advertise one price and then charge a higher one to New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said.

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