The lawsuit has hung over the companies since 2004

The lawsuit has hung over the companies since 2004

An eight-year-old lawsuit brought against Pernod Ricard, Diageo and Seagram over alleged commercial misconduct in Colombia has been dismissed by New York's district court. 

The case, dating back to November 2004, was based on the Republic of Colombia and its regional departments' claims that the companies had competed unfairly with its businesses by selling products through illegal channels and taking payments from money laundering groups. Colombia's regional departments hold a constitutional monopoly for the country's spirits production and distribution.  

However, Pernod Ricard announced today (9 November) that the district court of New York has thrown out the lawsuit “without prejudice”. 

In a statement, the Paris-based group said: “These allegations have always been vigorously denied by the defendants and Pernod Ricard therefore welcomes the dismissal.

"Pernod Ricard will continue to work with the Colombian regional departments in a cooperative effort to fight against smuggling and counterfeit products and to promote competitive markets that benefit consumers and producers alike.” 

Diageo confirmed in a statement the lawsuit had been dismissed. It added: "Discussions with the Colombian government are ongoing and Diageo remains committed to continued dialogue with the Colombian government to promote equitable market conditions for all parties, including consumers, in the spirits industry."

Seagram was acquired by Diageo and Pernod in 2001 and carved up between the two firms