22-04-2016

The Hague Court: Dutch alcohol and tobacco ID campaign in violation of anti-trust legislation

Breda (The Netherlands), 22 April 2016. The Court in The Hague has ruled that the Dutch Food Retail Association (CBL) and Jumbo Supermarkets have violated anti-trust legislation by ruling out the very effective age validation system ‘Ageviewers’ at the sale of tobacco and alcohol.  

Reaction Teleconnect Inc - Ageviewers

Instrumental for the infringement was the industry wide responsible alcohol retailing code and an ID- campaign in the Netherlands, similar to the ‘We Card Program’ in the US. The Court in The Hague, sitting in full bench, established that both the code and the campaign have the object of impeding the implementation and proliferation of the Ageviewers system and therefore are declared void and nonexistent. CBL and Jumbo are the first parties that have been found jointly and severally liable for all damages inflicted to Ageviewers since 2008.  The ruling does not only affect CBL and Jumbo. Among the many parties involved in the ID program are Dutch market leader Ahold, currently merging with Delhaize and operating in the US with brands as Stop & Shop, Giant and Peapod; the Dutch Brewers Association; the Wine Industry; Bacardi-Martini and Diageo. 

We are very happy with this judgment. Our business has been severely affected by this cartel since 2008 and our financial claim will be substantial. In our view, the boycott exposes an extensive morality and compliance problem regarding the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors. We are investigating the consequences of the judgment in the US, as the boycott completely derailed our plans to implement the Ageviewers system in the American market, where our company is listed and where we have our roots. We are requesting all parties involved in the production and sale of tobacco and alcohol, in responsible retailing and prevention institutes, to endorse and support our further efforts to implement Ageviewers in the Dutch and US market.

 

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