MADISON, Wis. (CN) – Bars in Madison, Wis., won a victory in the state Supreme Court, after an antitrust lawsuit accused them of colluding with the city to fix prices through the so-called “Luther’s Blues conditions,” named for a local bar, in which 24 taverns agreed to stop selling drink specials after 8 p.m. on weekends in an effort to curb binge drinking at the University of Madison-Wisconsin.
“Within reason, municipalities have broad statutory authority to prescribe or orchestrate anticompetitive regulation in the sale and consumption of alcohol if that regulation serves an important public interest,” Justice Prosser wrote for the majority. The bars are immune from the antitrust claim because they had adopted the voluntary regulations in response to city pressure, the court concluded.
Justice Louis Butler Jr. dissented.
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