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California Independent Retailers Accuse Southern Glazer’s Of Discriminatory Pricing

November 11, 2022

A group of independent retailers in the California market have filed a class action case against Southern Glazer’s alleging the distribution giant is in violation of laws like the federal Robinson-Patman Act and California Unfair Practices Act by offering covert pricing advantages to chain customers.

The retailers include Newport Wine & Spirits, Times Market & Liquor, Sunset Market & Liquor, Mike’s Liquor & Market, and Santee Market & Liquor. The retailers say the prices they’re paying Southern for certain bottles exceed those paid by consumers at chains such as Albertson’s and Costco. They’re seeking compensatory and treble damages, and injunctive relief from the alleged pricing discrimination plus legal costs.

Southern Glazer’s responds that the retailers forfeited their right to pursue such a class action by agreeing to the terms of its Proof e-commerce platform, which the retailers admit they’ve used. The distributor wants the claims arbitrated on an individual basis, or failing that, to have the case moved to the Southern District of Florida due to the Proof contracts in question. A hearing on Southern Glazer’s motion is set for December 1.—Daniel Marsteller

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