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Interesting twist to the tobacco settlement

by Evie / July 1, 2004 12:12 AM PDT
Smoke-and-Mirrors: Eliot's Post-Cartel Cigarette

Good news: At long last, an American company has sued New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, rather than the other way around. Now here's the bad news: The lawsuit was filed over Spitzer's and his fellow state AGs' alleged failure to make good on their promise to protect an industry cartel. That failure, the suit claims, has facilitated a "huge increase" in the number of "renegade companies" selling "very cheap" products and making unprecedented gains in market share. Welcome to the strange world of tobacco regulation.

The plaintiff in the case against Spitzer is Commonwealth Brands, a Kentucky-based maker of discount-cigarette brands like Malibu, USA Gold, and Sonoma that signed the 1998 tobacco-settlement agreement. Commonwealth charges that Spitzer and other state AGs have failed to collect mandatory-escrow payments from companies that never signed the 1998 tobacco settlement. But this is an adversarial "lawsuit" in name only, for the plaintiffs are in bed with the nominal defendants...

The whole tobacco settlement was a disgrace IMO.

Evie Happy
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