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California Beer Legislation Draws U.S. Antitrust Enforcer Ire

March 23, 2020, 9:25 PM

Proposed California legislation restricting contracting arrangements between beer manufactures and wholesalers is drawing opposition from U.S. antitrust regulators who say the measure would lead to higher prices and impose undue burdens on the craft brewing industry.

California’s A.B. 1541, which would limit the ability of beer manufacturers to terminate, fail to renew, or alter agreements with beer wholesalers, adds significant regulatory burdens that would raise brewers’ cost of distribution, the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission said Monday.

If enacted, the measure “would likely lead to higher beer prices for California consumers and may lead to less variety, and...

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