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Federal Lawsuit Filed against Connecticut’s Minimum Wine & Spirit Pricing Law

Liquor Store SignA 35 year old Connecticut law that sets minimum retail prices for wine and spirits has been challenged with a federal lawsuit by Total Wine & More.  The liquor store chain has claimed that the regulation “violates U.S. antitrust laws.”  Efforts have been made to abolish the law in the past.  Even Governor Dannel Malloy has “tried for several years to repeal the minimum pricing law, which he says is costing Connecticut millions in lost tax revenue.”  The regulation does typically generate higher prices, which in turn leads some consumers to neighboring states to purchase alcohol.  The party pushing against Total Wine & More’s federal lawsuit has been the smaller, family owned wine and spirit retailers in Connecticut.  These stores have expressed that the current law helps protect themselves against big chains, which would be able to “offer discounts because it buys in far greater volume than the smaller stores.”  The lawsuit was filed yesterday, August 23, 2016.

Source: Hartford Courant