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US Looks to Curve Rising Beer Prices

 |  July 19, 2022

Homer Simpson just grunted. Instead of addressing record gas prices and skyrocketing inflation the White House wants to bring its government-knows-best approach to the beer market, even though beer and other alcohol markets are exploding with competition and new competitors. Let’s hope that policymakers reject these ideas faster than Homer spits out a piece of broccoli. 

As part of its goal to remake the economy, the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order that requires agencies to examine the competitive landscape in many markets, including alcohol. The order rests on the premise that “over the last several decades, as industries have consolidated, competition has weakened in too many markets.”   

In response, and no surprise given the White House’s directive, the Treasury Department concluded that consolidation has risen “particularly at the distribution and/or retail levels for beer, wine, and spirits and at the production level for beer.” The Department’s report recommends tighter antitrust scrutiny, a skepticism of efficiency claims, and a variety of potential rulemakings. 

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