This new bill, called the “Stopping Grinch Bots Act”, will try to stop bot technology from scalping new consoles. These bots automatically add new high-value items to a user’s cart and complete the checkout process. This expedites the process and prevents others from purchasing products normally.
The bill was brought forwards by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Representative Paul Tonko, and Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ben Ray Luján.
A similar bill, the “Better Online Ticket Sales Act”, was introduced in 2016 and signed into law. This made it illegal to use bots to buy event tickets.
Grinch Bots Statement
In a statement, Representative Paul Tonko said “At a time when families should be able to spend time with their loved ones, digital ‘Grinch bots’ are forcing Americans to scour online sites in the hopes of finding an affordable gift or paying exorbitant prices for a single toy.
“These bots don’t just squeeze consumers, they pose a problem for small businesses, local retailers and other entrepreneurs trying to ensure 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 hardworking parents dry this holiday season. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to stop these Grinch bots from stealing the holidays.”
In the UK, a bill called the “Gaming Hardware Bill” was brought forwards, but it hasn’t become law yet.
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