Booze Blues at Walmart: Sues Texas Over Hard Liquor
When you're a huge corporation with a monopoly on everything, it's kind of amusing when you complain about there being a monopoly.
Walmart is taking on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
Things that are insane for a thousand Alex?
Walmart is upset that Texas will not allow hard liquor to be sold in their stores. So they're trying to sue.
The problem lies with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's rules, some of which date back to right after prohibition. Walmart claims that the rules amount to unconstitutional discrimination.
Walmart, it seems, wants a piece of, what AP reporter Michael Graczyk says, is a market of $14 billion in sales.
In Texas, publicly traded companies are not allowed to hold liquor licenses, which dates back to the 1930s.
Another issue is that a person is limited to 5 liquor licenses per holder. But that rule is overturned by blood. Liquor licenses can be consolidated by blood relatives, which is why we're seeing a growth of family-owned liquor chains in the state. And that is what Walmart is calling discriminatory. Walmart executives not only don't have souls, allegedly, but also, no blood relatives to fit the Texas template.
Of course, those family-run liquor stores don't anything to do with Walmart coming into their world. They have good lobby. The trial was supposed to start next month, but the Texas Package Stores Association appealed the ruling, and now a federal judge has to set a new court trial date.