Costco Takes on Wholesalers in WA

"This is an allegation made by one retailer and clearly the basis for their allegations are self-serving, and we think that the liquor laws are regulations that have been on the books for many years are good public policy and the public interest is served by (them)."

Said Phil Wayt, Executive Director of the Washington Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association.

Phil is responding to a lawsuit filed in Washington State by Costco alledging that the State regulations preventing Costco from purchasing wine directly from out of state suppliers violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Sherman Antitrust Act.

I can not tell you why I react to hypocricy the way I do. But I do, particularly when I see it manifested in business or political affairs. And this one is a doosy (sp?).

Mr. Wayt believes Costco is acting in a "self serving" manner, which appears by his statements to be a bad thing? Yet, his wholesaler compatriots’ oppostition to opening up alternative distribution channels…is not "self serving"?

And is it any surprise that the monopoly wholesalers currently enjoy in Washington strikes Mr. Wayt as "good public policy" and that he believes "the public is served by (the monopoly)?"

Maybe my reaction to this naked hypocricy is just a reaction to a complete and total lack of creativity on the part of the hypocrits. Certainly there must be a way for the wholesalers to state their desire to keep their monopoly intact without being so blatently hypocritical. But here is a thought: Maybe there isn’t a non-hypocritcal path to that position. Maybe there is no argument to be made that actually makes sense AND avoids hypocricy. That is tough position to be in.

Posted In: Wine Business


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