Illinois Liquor Control Commission Closer to Ruling on Busch’s Interest in City Beverage

The Chicago Tribune reports that the state of Illinois continues to move toward a decision as to whether Anheuser-Busch can continue to hold a 30% interest in its largest local distributor, City Beverage, or whether it will be forced to sell its interest.

Historically, alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have all been separate entities. The manufacturers create the product, the distributors are responsible for collecting taxes and getting the product to the retailers, who sell it. This system was designed to both keep the product safe as well as out of the hands of minors.Illinois Liquor Control Commission Closer to Ruling on Busch’s Interest in City Beverage

However, Busch has taken steps in many states to directly purchase distribution companies, a move that would allow it to sell directly to retailers. In 2010, when local distributor City Beverage came up for sale, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) prohibited Busch from purchasing it. This ruling resulted in a lawsuit and legislative action to govern the limits on self-distribution in the state. Ultimately, an investment firm called BDT Capital purchased City Beverage, but Busch still holds a large interest in the company, which continues to be an issue before the ILCC.

Many businesses are subject to complex laws, rules, and regulations that govern their operation under state and even federal law. Specialized industries that deal with specifically regulated products, such as the alcohol industry, also must contend with a maze of additional permits, licenses, and requirements in order to remain compliant with the law. As a result, even the most sophisticated business owner will require ongoing legal advice and guidance from a knowledgeable business attorney to deal with disputes or other matters as they arise. Contact your Oak Brook, Illinois business lawyer today for the advice that you need to operate a successful business.