Market Access/Prevention of Monopolies

Protection of the consumer and variety of choice via prevention of monopolies are some of the main accomplishments of the Three Tier System, and strongly supported by WSWA.

WSWA supports licensing policies that promote the independence of each tier – meaning suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers all operate as distinct entities.  Various state regulations limit or ban inter-tier ownership to ensure that the alcohol market remains free of undue influence and vertical integration.  For example:  under the three tier system, a large multinational supplier couldn’t own and operate a retail liquor store  or buy all the shelf space at every local retail outlet so only that company’s products were available to consumers to the exclusion of smaller brands or competitors.  State laws and regulations that reinforce separation of the tiers and prevent “blurring” of the tiers prevent that type of exclusion in the marketplace, ensuring that brands large and small get a chance to compete without getting shut out. 


This leads to the greatest marketplace diversity and variety of products in the world.  Small brands can compete next to large, established brands on independent retailers’ shelves, and in this competition the consumer wins!