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Spitzer probing New York liquor industry

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is investigating allegations that liquor manufacturers and wholesalers in New York state are giving deep discounts to favored retailers, his office said Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is investigating allegations that liquor manufacturers and wholesalers in New York state are giving deep discounts to favored retailers, his office said Wednesday.

"We are looking into illegal pricing practices in the liquor industry," said Spitzer spokesman Marc Violette.

Spitzer is investigating whether certain retailers have received gift certificates, cash and discounts in violation of New York State Liquor Authority rules, which would constitute unfair pricing, Violette said. He would not comment on who was under investigation.

Spitzer has said he would act on any complaint that wholesalers had cut off or intimidated liquor store operators who cooperated with the investigation.

The probe follows an investigative report this summer by the Buffalo News newspaper that prompted a series of hearings held by the State Assembly last month.

The investigation focuses on allegations that wholesalers granted some retailers special promotions and deep discounts while denying them to others.

Spitzer has already launched legal campaigns against Wall Street's investment banks, the funds industry, insurance companies and music companies, winning billions of dollars in settlements.