Bracing for e-prohibition on wine?

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Contact for interviews:    

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273


Washington, D.C., December 6, 2004—It’s a case of liberty versus government-backed protectionism before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, Dec. 7. CEI analyst Ben Lieberman is available to discuss the significant impact Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers v. Heald will have on e-commerce.


The Court will hear arguments from small wineries and state regulators on whether those wineries can sell directly to out-of-state consumers, or whether they must abide by a more costly state-mandated distribution system.


As Lieberman has noted, the alcoholic-beverage wholesalers and distributors are fighting to hold on to their protected state markets. Small wineries could be driven out of business if they lose Internet sales, since most large distributors do not carry specialty, low-volume vintages. Consumers will also lose—in the form of higher prices and reduced choice—if Big Wine prevails in court.


Visit to view CEI commentary and analysis of this important issue:


“World Wine Web” – by Ben Lieberman


“California Wine vs. Two-Legged Pests” – by Henry I. Miller


“Internet Wine Sales: Old Monopolies Fight Against New Bottles” – by Ben Lieberman


“Prohibition's Last Gasp” by Ben Lieberman