Pub companies to come under scrutiny in new Government inquiry

26 June 2008 by
Pub companies to come under scrutiny in new Government inquiry

The Business and Enterprise Committee has launched an inquiry into the trading practices of Britain's largest pub companies.

The inquiry will asses if the Licensing Act of 2003 has had an effect on competition in the market, as well as evaluating the need for further regulation in the industry.

It will also follow up a 2004 inquiry into pub operator practices that pushed operators to introduce a voluntary code of conduct for rent reviews.

Peter Luff MP, chairman of the committee, said: "In December 2004 the Trade and Industry Committee concluded that ‘if the industry does not show signs of accepting and complying with an adequate voluntary code then the Government should not hesitate to impose a statutory code on it'. We are aware that some progress has been made."

Campaign group Fair Pint has lobbied for the inquiry and wants to see pub operators break the beer-tie with licensees.

The beer-tie forces landlords to buy their beer directly from the pub's owner and effects the amount of rent they pay.

Earlier this month Fair Pint founder Brian Jacobs told Caterersearch: "Fair Pint will see this through. We recognise we are up against £10b worth of might but that does not stop us."

Campaigning for a Fair Pint >>

Business and Enterprise Committee to revist the role of pubcos >>

Smoking ban news and features round up >>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.

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