Soda Water Beverage
This program regulates numerous practices specific to the soda water beverage industry. The regulations are designed to create a "level playing field" among soda water wholesalers. The law (100.20, Wisconsin Statutes, and Chapter ATCP 102, Wisconsin Administrative Code) stipulates that:
- The term "soda water beverage" includes soft drinks, carbonated or uncarbonated, and soft drink bases, fountain syrups, concentrates and powders intended to be reconstituted by wholesalers or retailers to produce soft drinks.
- Wholesalers are prohibited from furnishing retailers with equipment under agreements that restrict the use of equipment to products sold by the furnishing wholesaler.
- Wholesalers may not encourage price discrimination among customers by offering special rebates, discounts, allowances or commissions which are not available to all customers.
- Wholesalers may not sell equipment to retailers for the refrigerated or heated storage or display of soda water beverages for less than a monthly charge of 1/60 of the equipment's cost.
- Penalties for violations of this law range from agency-issues cease and desist orders to court ordered civil forfeitures of $100 or $10,000. Court actions are generally commenced by the district attorney in the county where the alleged violation occurred.
Enforcement of the Soda Water Beverage Law
Enforcement actions under ATCP 102, Subchapter II, are generally prompted by wholesaler complaints regarding the action of competing wholesalers. Investigations are prioritized based on staff workload since the law does not provide funding for enforcement, our staff need to be diverted from other projects. Compliance with ATCP 102 is established through interviews with witnesses and reviews of wholesaler records such as price lists, sales agreements, accounting system audits and retail invoices.
Upon conclusion of the data collection phase, investigators draft reports summarizing their findings and recommending case disposition. The recommendation and case report is reviewed by a supervisor and returned to the investigator for follow-up. Follow-up may consist of drafting warning letters, preparing special orders or court papers, closing the case with no violation, and notifying the complainant of the investigation's results. Documents created and obtained through the investigative process became open record upon conclusion of the case.
For further information please contact the Bureau of Trade Practices at (608) 224-4925 or (608) 224-4989.