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MillerCoors loses lawsuit with Ohio beer distributor

on 26/03/11 at 11:48 am


A federal court in Columbus, Ohio, has sided with Beverage Distributors Inc. of Cleveland in its fight to retain its franchise to distribute Miller brand beer in Cuyahoga County.

Beverage Distributors and AFP Distributors of Glouster in southeastern Ohio sued MillerCoors LLC in 2008 after the beermaking joint venture terminated the two companies’ Miller franchises as part of a strategy to consolidate distributorships. The company wanted to expand the distribution territory of another Miller distributor, Superior Beverage Group of Austintown, into Cuyahoga County and Kerr Distributing into southern Ohio.

Miller beer sales accounted for about half of Beverage Distributors’ business, according to court filings.

MillerCoors was formed in 2008 and selected Chicago as headquarters after SAB Miller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co. formed the joint venture.

The Ohio distribution moves are part of a trend in the industry to consolidate distributorships.

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