From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “A federal judge said in two separate rulings Wednesday that Washington’s system for distributing beer and wine violates the Constitution and the Sherman Act.”
We will keep a close eye on this case as it will likely have a big impact on wine shipping in Washington and other states as well.
The first ruling held that “Washington state law improperly requires that producers and distributors of beer and wine mark up prices at least 10 percent above cost.”
The second is more significant for wine shipping. Citing the Commerce Clause as does the Granholm decision, Judge Marsha Pechman agreed with Costco that Washington’s system that allows in-state beer and wine producers to ship directly to retailers while prohibiting out-of-state producers from doing the same is unconstitutional.� She gave Washington lawmakers until April 14th, 2006 to either allow all beer and wine producers to sell directly to retailers or to prohibit direct sales to retailers altogether.