FTC Investigating Southern Glazer’s Over Liquor, Wine Pricing

Commission looking at company possibly giving big retailers favorable prices, says report
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits logo
Logp/Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits LLC is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission regarding how wine and liquor are priced and sold around the country, according to Politico, citing three people with knowledge of the antitrust probe.

The FTC investigation involves the Miami-based distributor possibly violating the Robinson-Patman Act, a law from 1936 that prohibits suppliers from offering favorable prices to big retailers at the expense of competitors who are smaller, the sources told the news outlet.

Southern Glazer’s also is being investigated under Section 5 of the FTC Act to see if it engaged in conduct including any anti-competitive, deceptive or unfair business practices, the people said.

“While Southern Glazer’s is the only known target of the probe, the agency is seeking wide-ranging information on wine and alcohol sales by distributors and retailers around the U.S.,” Politico reported.

The sources, granted anonymity to talk about this confidential subject, said the probe is just getting started, according to Politico, adding that FTC investigations can last years and often are closed without any action being taken.

In January, the FTC started investigating Coca-Cola and Pepsi regarding soft drink pricing.

The Southern Glazer’s investigation “is yet another sign that the Biden administration is expanding its efforts to rein in big companies and flex its antitrust powers, in the technology world and beyond,” Politico wrote. “That includes the world’s biggest tech firms, such as Apple and Google, and more traditional companies like Southern Glazer’s.”

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits is a multigenerational, family-owned company. It has operations in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

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