Heineken fined for allegedly forcing pubs to sell 'unreasonable' quantities of beer

Thursday, October 15, 2020

British regulators have fined Heineken's pub business almost £2.6 million for allegedly forcing British pubs to sell "grossly inappropriate quantities" of Dutch craft beers.

The Pub Code is a statutory document that governs relationships between single tenants and pub operators who have established business relations with brewers and which own and operate over 500 pubs in England and Wales.

"Star" has failed to deal openly and transparently with tenants, or meet the standards required by a regulated business when it deals with pub regulators ", pub code adjudicator Fiona Dickie said in a statement, adding that the £2m fine was a" deterrent of future misbehaviour."

Pubs Code Juror Fiona Dickie said: 'The report of my investigation is a game changer. It demonstrates that the regulator can and will act robustly to protect the rights that Parliament has given to tied tenants.

"This penalty is unwarranted and disproportionate, and comes at a time when the entire sector is in serious financial crisis as we work around the clock to support our pubs and licensees to keep their businesses afloat," Star Chief Executive Lawson Mountstevens said in a statement.

Lawson Mountstevens, the CEO of Star Pubs said: 'We are deeply disappointed and frustrated at the outcome of this investigation. There are many aspects of the report that we fundamentally disagree with.

Star subsequently changed its policy to allow pubs to sell competing beers while regulators required them to sell certain "must stock"

Star, which leases 1.900 pubs across England and Wales, said it would appeal the fine to the High Court.