‘C’ is for Commercial Collaboration: Enterprise and Structure in the ‘Middle Market’ of Counterfeit Alcohol Distribution

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This article, utilizing the theoretical framework of Pearson and Hobbs (2004), defines the middle market in counterfeit alcohol distribution and its associated ‘enterprise’. Drugs markets have a resemblance to counterfeit alcohol markets in as much that they share the illicit nature of the product and the need to distribute the product at the 'street' level. Drawing on two case studies taken from a European regulator the article details the dynamics of the market, the enterprise actions of the actors and how law enforcement responses can, in certain circumstances, make the task of the distributors easier. The traditional notions of organized crime are challenged and organization of counterfeit alcohol markets is viewed as being reliant upon those who have legitimate access to the market and are able to develop networks of commercial collaborators who by their position in the legitimate market are able to conceal their illicit actions.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-560
Number of pages18
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018