The Office of Fair Trading will deliver its verdict tomorrow on whether the beer tie should be referred to the Competition Commission.
It follows a super-complaint lodged by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) relating to the supply of beer in pubs.
CAMRA’s complaint, A Fair Share for the Consumer, blames high rents and tied beer prices for driving pub landlords out of business and contributing to under-investment in pub facilities and is calling for reform.
The OFT’s conclusion comes as a Facebook group has attracted more than 1,600 members in its bid to organise a UK mass “beer-cott”. The Pub Revolution Movement aims to get thousands of publicans to stop paying their Pubcos rent.
Its Facebook page says the action will cut off Pubcos’ cash flow, send them under and enable publicans to reduce prices and attract consumers.
Earlier this month publicans and consumer associations formed a new lobbying group to push for reforms to the beer tie system after talks to reach an agreement between pubcos and their tenants failed.
Fair Pint, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), the Campaign for Real Ale and Justice for Licensees have all agreed to form the Independent Pub Confederation with the aim of continuing the campaign on behalf of licensees, small breweries and consumers.
By Helen Gilbert
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