UK: Court ruling threatens cheaper pint in pubs
The price of beer in the UK's bars and pubs could fall following a landmark court decision last week. The tenant of a London tied house was awarded £250,000 damages by the court of appeal on Friday in a case centred on European competition regulations.
Bernie Crehan won his test case after claiming that he had been forced to pay over the odds for the beer he purchased for his pub in south-west London.
The decision may cost pub chain Inntrepreneur as much as £100m. With around 600 other publicans' cases dependent on Crehan's, many are expected to make claims against the company.
But, according to The Guardian on Saturday, the long-term implications for beer prices are not yet clear. The Licensed Victuallers Association (LVA), which represents many of the 25,000 licensees in Britain who are tied to four major firms, told the newspaper that it would not be surprised if pub chains looked to raise rents to compensate for charging less for beer.
"There's a lot of free houses in the market," Tony Payne, the LVA's spokesman told the newspaper. "Are beer prices there any different now? I fear not. If pubs are no longer tied to companies, they may not be able to get the larger discounts which the major chains can obtain now.
"We want to see more of those discounts passed on to our members. I would be surprised if this decision is not appealed up the House of Lords," Payne told The Guardian.
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