Target agrees to pay $3.9 million fine for price scanning and pricing errors

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KTVU) – The Target retail chain agreed Tuesday to pay nearly a $4 million fine for scanning and pricing errors at checkout stands at its more than 250 stores in California, according to the Marin County District Attorney's Office.

Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said the action was filed in conjunction with prosecutors from Contra Costa, Fresno, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties and the San Diego District Attorney's Office.

In a prepared release, Berberian said -- "A fundamental consumer right is to be charged no more than the lowest advertised price."

The complaint filed in Marin County Superior Court alleged that Target was guilty of charging customers at prices higher than its lowest advertised price, made statements that misrepresented the weight of Target-branded products, sold commodities by gross weight and sold commodities in less quantity than represented.

Under a settlement agreement, Target officials agreed to pay a $3,941,118 fine and to be bound by a permanent injunction prohibiting them from making any false or misleading statements in regards to their advertised prices; charging an amount greater than the lowest advertised price and selling commodities by gross weight and less quantity than represented.

Target also agreed to take other significant measures to ensure the price accuracy of its prices in its California stores.