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