Wine.com supports free trade legislation in Washington state

Online wine retailer supports proposed
legislation to allow direct shipping from out-of-state

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – 1/25/2008

Wine.com, the nation's #1 online wine retailer, is putting its full
support behind proposed legislation that would enable out-of-state wine
retailers to ship into Washington. The bill, State Senate Bill 6384,
would provide Washington consumers with access to wine from all over the
world, not just what's available in the state of Washington.

Wine.com has held a retail wine license and operated a warehouse in
Washington for the last eight years, serving over 28,000 Washington
customers. In recent months, the company has been calling into question
the validity of Washington's laws against out-of-state wine retailers.
At a hearing yesterday, representatives from Wine.com spoke in favor of
the bill. Under the proposed bill, the company and other online wine
retailers would be able to ship wine to Washington customers from other
states, increasing product selection and lowering prices.

"We're for free trade," said Rich Bergsund, Wine.com CEO. "State
laws against out-of-state wine retailers are anti-consumer and
unenforceable, and we're pleased to see Washington respond in this
manner. This bill is good for consumers, good for the state of
Washington and good for online retailers like Wine.com."

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must treat in-state
and out-of-state wineries the same with regard to direct shipping to
the state's consumers. As a result, Washington has had a permit which
allows direct shipment from out-of-state wineries since June 2006.
Out-of-state retailers, however, have not been allowed to ship into
Washington. Last week, the Federal Court in Northern District of Texas
ruled that the Supreme Court decision also applies to retailers, not
just wineries. Senate Bill 6384 would apply the same principle to
retailers and make it consistent with the Supreme Court and Texas
rulings.

"We're calling on all wine enthusiasts interested in free trade to
voice their opinions on this matter," said Mike Osborn, Wine.com
Founder. "We've sent an email to our customers in Washington to make
them aware of the issue and ask for their support. The result will be
the availability of a much broader selection of wine at more competitive
prices. If Washington moves to support free trade it is our hope that
other states will follow suit."

About Wine.com

Wine.com is the nation's #1 online wine retailer, according to Internet
Retailer magazine's annual ranking of websites by revenue, offering
thousands of wines, wine gifts, gift baskets, and monthly wine clubs.
Wine.com's mission is to be the ultimate resource for wine enthusiasts,
whether shopping for themselves or sending a gift, by offering a great
selection, low prices, convenient delivery and helpful information.
Wine.com is the world's most visited wine web site, according to
research conducted by comScore Media Metrix. For more information, visit
the company's website at
http://www.wine.com
, its blog at
http://blog.wine.com
, or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/winecom
and
Twitter at http://twitter.com/wine_com.
 

 

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