Missouri’s alcohol franchise bill, currently stalled in the Missouri Senate, would reinstate protections for local distributors that were placed in serious jeopardy after a 2011 court case redefined the meaning of the term “franchise” in Missouri. The change essentially abolished competition protections that local distributors in Missouri have enjoyed since the 1970s.
The controversial law would require suppliers to have “good cause” to terminate a contract with a distributor. Proponents of the bill say that the legislation is necessary to protect home state interests from out of state competitors and ensure a competitive marketplace for local brands. Opponents maintain that the bill is anti-competitive and gives Missouri distributors monopoly protection.