Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Britain is rationing beer! Is this a competition matter for the CMA?

"Another reason to leave the UK due to Brexit" says one of my London based German friends. According to this CNN story, the UK is rationing beer. They are out of carbon dioxide and so they can't make enough beer. During the World Cup this will mean riots!  I thought food rationing was a distant post WWII memory in the UK.  Worse, this is not even happening under the "socialist paradise" of Corbyn but under a market oriented government.

Is there a role for the CMA?  Of course.  Alcohol related issues of distribution/vertical restraints, buyer power, potential collusion across the supply chain, the rise of craft breweries, alternatives to beer in the sale of wine, spirits and "fruity" alcoholic bevarages like hard cider and hard lemonade (note: in the US we don't have hard lemonade - we also don't have Mars bars or much market penetration of Cadbury bars or similar bars like Aero) seems to be worthy of a sector report.

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