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On March 17th, British media Better Retailing released a BAT (British American Tobacco) test report, which pointed out that almost all major disposable vape brands in the UK have excessive e-liquid. Including ELFBAR, LOSTMARY, Found Mary, IVG Bar, Klik Klak, SMOK, SKE Crystal, Solo and other best-selling brands in the UK. In the same day, Elfbar brand company Imiracle (ShenZhen) Technology Co., Ltd disclosed for the details of BAT’s contact with Imiracle since August 2022 and proposed to acquire ELFBAR.
The contact process between the two parties is organized as follows:
Incidents of elfbar excessive e-liquid:
On February 6, 2023, nearly two months after Imiracle rejected the acquisition of BAT, ELFBAR was exposed by the Daily Mail, a British media, as having exceeded the standard for e-liquid. Since then, the event has continued to ferment. As of March 16th, British media Better Retailing published an article stating that it had received a British disposable vape product brand disqualification test report provided by BAT. According to the media, BAT has sent this report to channel providers, retailers, and law enforcement agencies to remind them of the importance of market compliance awareness.
Tang Shunliang, a lawyer at Beijing Zhonglun Wende (Kunming) Law Firm, said that the main reason for BAT’s acquisition of ELFBAR was the market competition between BAT and PMI in the new tobacco field.
BAT wants to expand its market share in the new tobacco sector. ELFBAR is a leading competitor in the field of disposable vapes. BAT’s idea of acquiring ELFBAR is reasonable. However, BAT cannot play the role of “vape law enforcement police”. As a competitor, it is difficult to purchase a competitor’s product for testing and disclose the results to public opinion without raising doubts about his motivation and testing independence.
At the same time, BAT habitually uses “moral weapons”. For example, BAT used this attack to accuse PMI of patent infringement during the UK’s prosecution of the invalidity of the PMI heater patent (CA-2021-000302). In the end, BAT won the case.
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