California Distributor Law Clarified by Federal Judge

In the ongoing MillerCoors, DBI, and Maita case in California, federal judge Ronald Whyte on Tuesday handed down orders on requests for summary judgments that dolled out mixed victories, but most importantly he ruled that California law does not allow successor-suppliers like MillerCoors to terminate distributors or cancel agreements, it merely allows for a process to determine fair market value, handing a victory to distributors (as it's the first federal ruling on the fairly new California franchise law). While the judge also granted summary judgment victories to DBI and MillerCoors, this first point kind of takes the teeth out of them since little can happen if MC, as a successor supplier, loses its right to terminate without cause .

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