Panel Upholds Most of Washington’s System for Regulating Beer, Wine

The latest development in Costco’s four-year legal fight with Washington’s Liquor Control Board was last week’s decision by a federal appeals court panel to uphold key parts of the state’s system for regulating beer and wine sales, according to a published report.

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — The latest development in Costco’s four-year legal fight with Washington’s Liquor Control Board was last week’s decision by a federal appeals court panel to uphold key parts of the state’s system for regulating beer and wine sales, according to a published report. The panel ruled that the liquor board can ban distributors from offering high-volume discounts and other variations in price to different retailers. It also maintained rules that require direct-store delivery. The panel did, however, reject a requirement that beer and wine distributors post prices publicly and hold them for 30 days. In 2004, Costco sued the Washington’s Liquor Control Board for operating a system it contends violates a federal law designed to limit monopolies. It regulates beer and wine sales through a system that was designed to separate retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers to prevent over-consumption.

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