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US: MA challenges beer’s pay-to-play rules

 |  November 16, 2014

Massachusetts lawmakers are calling for increased scrutiny of the state’s liquor industry as an investigation into claims of anticompetitive behavior gets underway.

Reports emerged last week that the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is probing alleged pay-to-play policies in the beer market. The practice sees beer companies being forced to pay to be sold in bars, restaurants and liquor stores.

It can lead to an anticompetitive market in which beer companies are charged differently by liquor distributors.

But the ABCC is faced with dramatic funding cuts and a lack of staff, reports say, causing lawmakers to question whether the agency can adequately conduct the investigation.

Full content: Boston Globe

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