Why Sweden’s alcohol monopoly is suing a Danish wine app

Sweden's state-run alcohol monopoly Systembolaget has accused a Danish app for rating and reviewing wines of breaking the country's strict laws around sale and advertisement of alcohol.

Why Sweden's alcohol monopoly is suing a Danish wine app
Wines on sale at the alcohol monopoly shop Systembolaget. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

The Danish app Vivino was launched in Sweden in September 2019, and provides grades and reviews for different wines, as well as giving users the opportunity to buy the beverages directly.

Now alcohol monopoly Systembolaget has sued the company behind the app, threatening it with penalties of three million kronor, legal newspaper Dagens Juridik reports.

“Vivino's sale of drinks containing alcohol goes against the Alcohol Act and is illegal,” Systembolaget wrote in a complaint to the patent and market court, in which it asked for Vivino to be banned from selling wine.

The complaint also claimed that the app had used words including “fredagsmys” (Friday night in) and “Black Friday” to market drinks containing alcohol, in breach of Sweden's strict regulations around advertising alcoholic drinks.

Systembolaget reportedly asked the app to stop its promotion of alcoholic drinks in Sweden in January, but Vivino claimed that it was acting within the law.

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