Off The Wagon

06 February 2015
By Dr. Alan Cox

Under the 21st amendment, which ended prohibition, the regulation of the distribution of alcohol is delegated to states. Under the regulatory restrictions that states generally impose, manufacturers ("suppliers") are separated from retailers by requiring suppliers to sell products through distributors. Distributors are often exclusive wholesalers of particular brands within states. In early 2013, the largest distributor of alcoholic beverages in Missouri was Major Brands. In that year, Diageo, the largest supplier of spirits in the US, announced that it would transfer the distribution of most of its spirit brands in Missouri from Major Brands to another distributor.

In this article, published in Commercial Dispute Resolution magazine, Dr. Alan Cox discusses the analysis used to calculate damages based on lost profits to Major Brands due to both the alleged breach of contract by Diageo and tortious interference by the competing distributor.