OFT to review the 1989 Beer Orders

United Kingdom

The OFT is to review The Supply of Beer (Tied Estate) Order 1989 and The Supply of Beer (Loan Ties, Licenced Premises, and Wholesale Prices) Order 1989 and the related statutory undertakings provided by the large brewers to see whether they should be removed, relaxed, tightened or stay the same.

The Orders were implemented ten years ago, following a monopolies inquiry, to control vertical links between brewing and pub retailing with the aim of widening customer choice, reducing prices and improving market entry.

They require the large brewers, amongst other things, to either cease to be brewers or, by 1st November 1992, free, from any purchasing tie, any pubs over their permitted maximum, and not to tie pub tenants to any drinks other than beer containing above 1.2% alcohol by volume.

They place various requirements on all brewers, including a requirement to publish wholesale prices, not to refuse supplies of beer to resellers except in certain circumstances, and not to include in contracts for sale of pubs, clauses preventing the pubs from being used as such.

Source: OFT Press Release 02/00