This might already be known, but there are peoples (some call them scalpers) that buy entire stocks of a specific product (e.g.:a specific graphics card model, etc) and then sell them for outrageous price (e.g.:if the original price of a specific model was 500$ then they might sell it for 2K$ or even in worse cases, 10K+).

Now I know this is just partially based on how economics works (supply, demand, etc) so I'm not trying to delve in the semantics of why they do that, or if this is viable longterm, etc. What I'm wondering is if this is legal (or not) in any country?

I tried to look up laws around this, but I cannot find a law that could fit. Monopoly on merchandise? Blockage? I don't know a better term for this, either.

  • 1
    This is called cornering the market, which may be helpful for your searches. I expect it would fall under general laws on antitrust and unfair business practices. Oct 3, 2023 at 16:14
  • wow, I didn't think of framing it for actual financial stock :o @NateEldredge Oct 3, 2023 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


There are some open-ended laws that might be used in the US, generally under the rubric of "unfair competition", as prohibited by §5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. There are also defense-related limits in the Defense Production Act of 1950, which allows the president to declare certain things vital to national security thus limits accumulation to not being "in excess of the reasonable demands of business, personal, or home consumption". This then allowed Trump to issue Executive Order 13910, which limited accumulation of covid-related goods. In the case of an emergency declaration, that would mean that a consumer could not buy up all of the rubbing alcohol (which would be impractical anyhow). Antitrust laws are written differently, and would probably not limit Jeff Bezos from buying all of the eggs.

Literally cornering the market would probable run afoul of anti-monopoly laws.

  • But does that apply to consumers? I meant this question mostly from a consumer perspective. Does "unfair competition" apply here too? Oct 3, 2023 at 16:20
  • I guess the latter law does apply here, so I'm just curious for the former one. Oct 3, 2023 at 16:21
  • 4
    The scalper is reselling the product, not merely consuming it. So even if they are an individual, they're not a consumer. They are effectively in competition with every retailer who would normally sell the product. Oct 3, 2023 at 16:22
  • oh, that's a better way to see this, yeah. Thank you @NateEldredge Oct 3, 2023 at 16:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .