Blog: Olly WehringMinimum pricing - goodbye to all that?

Olly Wehring | 22 October 2009

Could that be it for the minimum pricing argument, then?

Today's opinion from the European Court of Justice Advocate General, that setting a minimum price on products is illegal, suggests that the death throes have begun for the idea.

What is most interesting is the language used in the opinion.

“The Commission takes the view in the light of the Court’s previous case-law that those rules infringe Article 9(1) of Council Directive 95/59/EC ... on taxes other than turnover taxes which affect the consumption of manufactured tobacco.”

Basically, the Advocate General is saying: “We've told you before, so we'll tell you again.”

Naturally, the industry would like to see this as a precedent-setting case that applies to all products, as well as tobacco.

While we have three to four months of wait until the final ruling is handed down, there will be many in our industry tentatively breathing a sigh of relief today.

To read the full opinion, click here.


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