ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
TTB Ruling 2016-1
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TTB Issues Ruling on Category Management under Federal Tied-House Statute

Today the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) released TTB Ruling 2016-1 (Ruling), addressing category management practices.  The Ruling seeks to clarify TTB’s position toward category management under the federal tied-house statute and regulations, which generally prohibit an alcohol beverage supplier or wholesaler from providing a “thing of value” to alcohol beverage retailers. The federal tied-house statute and the TTB regulations implementing that provision require TTB to show both an “inducement” of a retailer leading to “exclusion” of competing products for TTB to find a tied-house violation.  TTB regulations also list specific activities that are exceptions to the general rule that providing anything of value to a retailer constitutes an “inducement.”  Those exceptions include shelf schematics.  See 27 C.F.R. § 6.99(b). Ruling 2016-1 recites the history of the shelf schematics exception and exhibits an element of “buyer’s remorse,” as...

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