The liquor store Total Wine & More has agreed to stop selling alcoholic beverages for lower than the state of Connecticut’s minimum pricing laws allow, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.
The state launched an investigation into Total Wine & More advertising and selling alcoholic liquor below the minimum price rules set out in the Liquor Control Act and said the company agreed to immediately stop all such advertisements and sales at all four of its Connecticut retail stores and to pay a total of $37,500, state officials said.
The state investigation came after Total Wine & More filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s minimum price requirements for wine and spirits and officials from the Department of Consumer Protection said this decision does not affect the lawsuit.
Officials from the Department of Consumer Protection said they will vigorously enforce the existing laws until they are amended.
“Immediately upon learning that Total Wine & More was advertising and selling products below what is permitted by the State’s minimum price rules, DCP’s Liquor Control Division opened an investigation,” Commissioner Jonathan Harris said in a statement. “I am pleased that, through the hard work of many people at DCP, we were able to resolve this issue swiftly, and I appreciate that Total Wine worked with us to come to an agreement.”
Total Wine & More Vice President of Public Affairs Edward Cooper issued a statement that read in part:
"Total Wine & More offered, and DCP accepted, an offer in compromise in the amount of $9,375 for each of the four Total Wine & More stores being investigated for sales below cost prohibited. The offer settles DCP’s inquiry without need for a formal administrative hearing and Total Wine & More makes no admission of any wrongdoing or liability and DCP does not find there to be any wrongdoing or liability on Total Wine & More’s part. Total Wine & More continues to pursue its federal lawsuit – Connecticut Fine Wine & Spirits, LLC d/b/a Total Wine & More v. Jonathan Harris, et al. – on behalf of the customers of Connecticut."