MillerCoors Pays $450,000 To TTB

Today the TTB announced acceptance of a $450,000 offer in compromise from MillerCoors for trade practice violations. The allegations are that MillerCoors’ Miller Fortune had a buy back program where MillerCoors guaranteed participating wholesalers that it would buy back product that went unsold or expired if, in return, the wholesaler fulfilled certain standards. According to the TTB press release, that included “distribution, speed to market, and forecasting/ordering compliance.”

Guaranteeing repurchase of product was an alleged consignment sale violation. As noted in the press release, “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.”

Returns of product may be permissible, as outlined in 27 CFR Chapter 11 and in the 2012-4 TTB Advisory, for purposes such as defective product, shipment error, change in law preventing sale of the product, etc.

See the press release here.