How Many Bottles Make a Case Against Direct Shipment Bans?

Jul 26, 2004

Internet wine sales and direct shipment to consumers have generated a significant policy controversy, pitting consumers and wineries against wine wholesalers and officials in states that ban out-of-state direct shipment to consumers.  The U.S. Supreme Court has added to the ferment by announcing that it will consider whether state laws that ban direct shipment from out-of-state sellers but permit it from in-state sellers violate the Constitution's Commerce Clause or are permissible under the 21st Amendment.

The Mercatus Center has just released a revised study examining the effect of direct wine shipment bans on consumers, co-authored by Dr. Jerry Ellig, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, and Dr. Alan Wiseman, an assistant professor of political science at Ohio State University.  The authors find that the online cost savings for comparison shoppers are even larger than their earlier FTC working paper on the topic implies.

We invite you to come hear these new results, and a discussion of the issues by Constitutional law and economics scholars who have been involved in the direct shipping litigation.


Dr. Jerry Ellig
Mercatus Center at
George Mason University

Dr. Alan Wiseman
Ohio State University

The Hon. Kenneth Starr
Kirkland & Ellis, PC

The Hon. C. Boyden Gray
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

Professor Ernest Gellhorn
George Mason University Law

Steve Simpson
Institute for Justice

Moderated by:
Tim O'Brien

Nova Southeastern University 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.