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• Just what the country needs – a new trade association.

The Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) has been formed by a consortium of wine merchants, wine auction houses, wine e-tailers, catalogers, and wine clubs to encourage states to allow direct shipments of wine in accordance with last year’s Supreme Court decision saying that if states permit in-state direct shipping, they have to allow out-of-state direct shipping.

The goal of the organization, according to the press release, is to “encourage states to create a borderless national wine marketplace that offers consumers more choice, lower pricing and more convenience, and offers states increased tax revenues.”

• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that Coca-Cola has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by a number of its bottlers. The bottlers have challenged Coke’s plan to deliver PowerAde to Wal-Mart warehouses as opposed to the direct store delivery (DSD) system traditionally used.

• Published reports say that the French government has drawn up legislation defining 20 companies as “national treasures” and allowing the government to veto any hostile takeovers of these corporations.

Among them – retailer Carrefour and dairy company Group Danone.

The impetus for the legislation was the speculation last year that PepsiCo was interested in acquiring Danone.

Franck Riboud, Danone CEO, has said that his company does not require any such protection.

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