SEC Wants to Know If Giant Booze Maker Spiked Sales

Diageo says it's cooperating with SEC's requests for information
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2015 12:00 PM CDT
SEC Wants to Know If Giant Booze Maker Spiked Sales
A customer drinks a pint of Guinness, in the Gravity bar at the Guinness storehouse, Dublin, Friday May 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Julien Behal/PA)

British booze giant Diageo is feeling the burn in the US: The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating claims that company sent American distributors more inventory than they requested, which would have allowed it to record a false spike in sales, the Guardian reports. Diageo tells the Wall Street Journal it has received an "inquiry" and is "working to respond fully to the SEC's requests for information in this matter."

Diageo, which makes Smirnoff, Guinness, Captain Morgan, and Johnnie Walker, among others, has about a 20% share of the American spirits market; about a third of the company's $15.9 billion in sales last year came from North America. The BBC reports sales have been falling in the US since 2011. (More Diageo stories.)

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