Overstock.com sued for overstating discounts

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A group of district attorneys in California is suing Overstock.com for $15 million, accusing the online discounter of overstating its deals and misleading consumers.

The attorneys filed a 33-page complaint in Alameda County Superior Court late Wednesday, arguing that Overstock.com (OSTK) should pay a minimum of $15 million in fines and restitution for "routinely and systematically" making untrue and misleading claims about the prices of its products.

The lawsuit cites an example where Overstock allegedly advertised a patio set for $449.99 and claimed that the "List Price" for the set was $999. But the furniture arrived with a Wal-Mart sticker showing the price to be $247.

The complaint accuses Overstock of often making up "list prices" and "compare at prices."

"In our opinion, this conduct constitutes untrue or misleading advertising, and legal action is necessary to protect our consumers from such practices," District Attorney Dolores A. Carr. said in a statement.

Overstock fired back with a statement of its own, claiming it has been in discussions with the attorneys for several years and was disappointed the conflict resulted in a court case.

"Overstock.com stands by all our advertising practices, including providing comparison values which we thoroughly explain on our site," Jonathan Johnson, President of Overstock.com said in a statement. "We have been singled out for standard industry practices, which we look forward to demonstrating in court."

The lawsuit seems to come at a "strategically-timed moment," Overstock said. Black Friday, one of the largest shopping day of the year, is next week. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,580.89 119.19 0.49%
Nasdaq 7,692.82 -20.14 -0.26%
S&P 500 2,754.88 5.12 0.19%
Treasuries 2.90 0.00 0.10%
Data as of 8:05pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Comcast Corp 33.81 1.02 3.11%
Bank of America Corp... 28.99 -0.30 -1.02%
General Electric Co 13.05 0.29 2.27%
AT&T Inc 31.69 0.09 0.28%
Micron Technology In... 57.10 -2.34 -3.94%
Data as of Jun 22
Sponsors

Sections

One of the world's leading smartphone makers is aiming for the biggest stock market listing in nearly two years. More

If Trump puts tariffs on European cars, it would hurt automakers who build a lot of cars in the United States. More

Russian trolls posing as an American college student tweeted about divisive social, political and cultural issues using an account that amassed thousands of followers -- and appeared in dozens of news stories published by major media outlets -- as recently as March. More