TTB Settles with Heineken USA Inc. for $2.5 Million
The federal authorities at the Department of Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, recently entered into a compromise with Heineken USA Inc. based on allegations regarding free draft systems and other perks provided to retailers by the beer giant.
Under the terms of this “Offer of Compromise”, Heineken must pay the federal government $2,500,000. In return, the Dept of the Treasury will not seek further prosecution against Heineken for the allegations contained in the Abstract and Statement.
What Did Heineken Allegedly Do?
According the the Abstract and Statement, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) allege that Heineken provided certain beverage retailers with BrewLock draft systems at no charge and reimbursed certain other alcohol beverage retailers for the cost they incurred purchasing said system in the for of credit card swipes.
TTB further alleges that such BrewkLock draft systems both obligated and induced the retailers to purchase imported malt beverages from Heineken, in violation of federal law. Furthermore, TTB alleges that Heineken used third-party entities to provide money or other things of value to these retailers for the preferential placement or use of the imported malt beverages.
It was alleged that these violations occurred over the past four (4) years throughout the country.