Proposed Massachusetts Bill Seeks to End Permanent Distributor Relationship

Much as it has played out on Capitol Hill and in other state legislatures, here in Massachusetts the battle continues as small beer brewers aim to create fair market conditions while larger breweries seek to maintain the status quo. A proposed bill attempts to upend a decades-old law that establishes permanent distribution rights to a product once a distributor has had a relationship with a supplier for six months. Such perpetual contracts defy public policy and legal precedent. However, the permanent distribution right can be disrupted by the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

The bill seeks to end that permanent relationship so suppliers can evaluate a distributor’s performance over time and choose who they want. Opponents say that “[u]nder H 245, virtually all beer brands distributed by a Massachusetts distributor would enjoy the special treatment, with the possible exception of the distributor’s one major supplier, either Anheuser-Busch InBev or MillerCoors.” Despite the opposition, H 245 has over 80 sponsors on both sides of the aisle.

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AiVi Nguyen.
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AiVi Nguyen

AiVi Nguyen is a business lawyer with a specialty in litigation, a practical strategist with a focus on complex contract, real estate and employment disputes. AiVi represents businesses of all sizes and in all stages of growth in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in a wide variety of industries spanning from healthcare to craft breweries. “I think of myself as a problem solver,” she says. AiVi’s goal is to get her clients the best result in the most efficient manner. Sometimes that means taking a matter all the way through trial, where AiVi has proven to be an aggressive and successful advocate.

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About the Authors

AiVi Nguyen.
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LinkedIn

Partner

AiVi Nguyen

AiVi Nguyen is a business lawyer with a specialty in litigation, a practical strategist with a focus on complex contract, real estate and employment disputes. AiVi represents businesses of all sizes and in all stages of growth in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in a wide variety of industries spanning from healthcare to craft breweries. “I think of myself as a problem solver,” she says. AiVi’s goal is to get her clients the best result in the most efficient manner. Sometimes that means taking a matter all the way through trial, where AiVi has proven to be an aggressive and successful advocate.

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