EU Sues States Over Minimum Resale Price Laws

Law360, New York (January 31, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- Making good on months of threats, Europe's competition watchdog is hauling Austria and Ireland to the European Court of Justice over legislation that sets a minimum retail price for cigarettes.

The European Commission announced the move Thursday, stating that “well-established case law” indicated that such minimum prices distorted competition and benefited manufacturers by safeguarding their profit margins.

“To achieve the objective of reducing tobacco consumption, the commission advocates increasing the excise duty on cigarettes,” the EC said. “The commission recognizes that price and tax measures are...
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