TTB and MillerCoors Settle Trade Practice Violations

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The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) has accepted a $450,000 offer in compromise from MillerCoors, LLC for alleged violations of the trade practice provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. The allegations of trade practice violations involved the MillerCoors’ Miller Fortune Buy-Back Program in which MillerCoors guaranteed participating wholesalers/distributors that it would buy back Miller Fortune product that did not sell and went out of code if the wholesalers/distributors fulfilled certain executional standards which included distribution, speed to market, and forecasting/ordering compliance. Under the Consignment Sales provisions of the FAA Act, it is unlawful for an industry member to sell or for any trade buyer to purchase alcohol beverage products with the privilege of return. TTB Ruling 2012-4, Freshness Dating and Allowable Returns of Malt Beverages under the FAA Act, was issued to address the very type of program arrangement that MillerCoors allegedly engaged in.