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Total Wine’s Case against State Pricing Regulations Continues in Connecticut

law-picThe Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut (WSWC), the trade association for the state’s distributors, will be an intervenor defendant against Total Wine in their case against the state’s current pricing regulations.  The current law essentially sets minimum retail prices for wine and spirits.  According to a study done by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, this minimum pricing has resulted in Connecticut’s retail pricing for alcohol to be 24% higher than neighboring states.  Total Wine has claimed that distributors have engaged in vertical and horizontal price fixing, which ultimately allows them to control retailers’ margins.  In response, the WSWC has argued that eliminating the 35 year old law would adversely affect their economic interests.  In addition, it is important to note that Total Wine is experiencing push back from retailers as well.  These retailers are mainly smaller, family-owned businesses.  With both parties strongly defending their interests, it will be interesting to see how this case plays out in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut.