Wine Institute Applauds FTC Report on Direct Shipping
Jul 3, 2003WASHINGTON, D.C. - Wine Institute applauds the Federal Trade Commission's findings that e-commerce offers consumers lower prices and more choices in the wine market. The report entitled "Possible Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce: Wine" was based on testimony and written comments requested by the FTC last fall on how state regulations and private business practices may have anticompetitive effects on several industries, including the wine industry.
"With the ever-increasing use of the Internet in U.S. households, Wine Institute believes that direct shipments will help to dramatically increase the number of wine brands available to consumers," Wine Institute President and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Koch said today. Since 1986, Wine Institute has promoted direct shipments as a means of providing consumers with choices, and is pleased that the FTC has recognized that e-commerce will not only improve consumer choice, but allow consumers to save money.
Increasingly, courts are finding that certain state alcohol laws are discriminatory, anti-competitive, and encroach on interstate commerce. "These laws protect the wholesalers and harm consumer choice and hundreds of small wineries that are locked out of the distribution system. Wholesalers have used the bogus underage access argument in order to preserve the discriminatory status quo. We are pleased that the FTC has debunked this false claim once and for all," Koch said.
Wine Institute will continue to work to reform or repeal state laws that are discriminatory and anticompetitive as the public policy advocacy group representing 645 California wineries and affiliated businesses responsible for more than 80 percent of U.S. wine production and 93 percent of exports.
The FTC report press release with a link to the full report can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/07/wine.htm. The full report can be downloaded at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2003/07/winereport2.pdf.