UPDATE: For those of you wondering why this new case is different from the one you remember reading about before, which got dismissed a while back, here's more:
A Minneapolis law firm filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing 25 bars near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and their trade association of conspiring to inflate drink prices from 1990 until last year. The class action lawsuit seeks relief for revelers it claims were ripped off....Do University officials attend Tavern League meetings?
A judge in April dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by the same firm, Lommen, Nelson, Cole & Stageberg, saying there was no conspiracy. That lawsuit accused bars of illegal price-fixing when they agreed in 2002 to voluntarily stop weekend drink specials to stave off a tougher ban on drink discounts the city was considering.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court reiterates claims that the voluntary ban on specials was meant to maximize bars' profits but alleges the violation of federal antitrust laws goes back even farther.
For 15 years, drinkers "were charged supra-competitive, excessive and fixed prices for alcohol" at the taverns, the lawsuit claims. Through private conversations and secret deals, the bars agreed when to increase prices and offer drink specials, it claims.
The conspiracy allegedly started after Wisconsin increased its drinking age from 18 to 21 in 1987. Despite reduced demand, drink prices increased faster than inflation in the 1990s "and the timing and sequence of those increases were agreed upon" by bar owners during monthly meetings of the Madison Tavern League, the lawsuit claims.
Anyway, a class action ... maybe all you former students will one day recover for all the extra money you paid for drinks here a decade ago. How much will you get? Maybe you'll get a coupon for a free beer!