From US Department of the Treasury:

Many commentators have described distributor consolidation as the greatest threat to competition in the alcohol market. [78] One commenter argued that “much of the producer-level competition concerns in the alcohol marketplace could in fact be viewed as a distributor-level problem.” [79]

FDA’s food labeling regulations do not require pre-approval. Accordingly, there is no prior label approval requirement for alcohol beverages that are not subject to the FAA Act’s labeling requirements. Some comments submitted in response to Treasury’s 2021 request for information complained that TTB labeling decisions are either arbitrary or excessively strict, and that the labeling regulations do not protect consumers. [189]

[78] See, e.g., C. Jarrett Dieterle & Teri Quimby, Craft Alcohol Makers Thrive as Government Launches Antitrust Investigation, REASON (Oct. 11, 2021) (arguing for reform of the three-tier system instead of antitrust scrutiny and stating, “Any honest effort to [evaluate competition in the alcohol industry] quickly leads to only one conclusion: Alcohol markets are more competitive than ever-with the exception of the wholesale tier.”).

[79] R Street, Comment #209.

[189] See, e.g., R Street, Comment #207 (“These rules, written broadly as they are, are ripe for over-enforcement, which in fact is exactly what has happened.”); Comment #377 (“Most of our challenges with Federal level regulation center on seemingly arbitrary labeling requirements which do nothing to advance the cause of getting truthful information into the hands of consumers and preventing ‘confusion.’”).

Featured Publications