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U.S.: Anheuser-Busch buyout has independent craft beer brewers concerned

 |  November 5, 2012

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $20.1 billion bid to buy Grupo Modelo has independent beer makers in the nation worried about their ability to compete if the deal goes through. Craft brewers – along with some beer wholesalers and members of Congress – have made efforts to bring the issues to the Justice Department. Specifically, the brewers are concerned that the giant merger would prevent smaller beer companies from having their beer distributed, as 38 states legally prohibit the self-distribution of their beer. As a result, independent brewers use the middle-man of independent wholesalers for distribution, a system that may be compromised if the merger creates an even bigger giant in the beer market who can sway those distributors’ affiliations with competing beer-makers. AB InBev currently controls more than 47 percent of the beer sector in the nation, and the buyout of the Mexican beer-maker would add another 5 percent to that stake. AB InBev has agreed to sell their 5 percent stake in Crown Imports, which sells Modelo’s products in the U.S., to calm potential concerns over the deal.

Full Content: Reuters

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