Walmart Sues Texas for Right to Sell Liquor
The absence of liquor on Walmart shelves is commonplace in the Lone Star state, but the state of Texas is now facing legal action from Walmart over the company's right to sell liquor.
In a suit filed Thursday, Walmart argues that the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission unfairly discriminate against publicly traded companies. According to the suit,
Texas law irrationally forbids any publicly traded corporation from owning or holding the permit needed to (operate a package store). Wal-Mart is therefore irrationally banned from competing with privately owned companies that are, unlike publicly traded corporations, allowed to obtain package store permits. Worse, Texas law irrationally excludes publicly traded hotel corporations from the prohibition against publicly traded corporations, and any publicly traded hotel with a hotel store may sell distilled spirits and hold package store permits irrespective of the public corporation ban.
Texas law allows a liquor permit holder to own and operate up to five stores, but a loophole in the law allows the license holder's blood relatives to own and operate another five stores. Walmart, which is allowed to sell liquor in half the states in the country, hopes to open "package stores" to sell liquor within their existing store, maintaining their own hours of operation and entrances and exits separate to that of the main store.