Anheuser-Busch InBev Deal Faces Hurdles

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By Jacob Maslow

Anheuser-Busch (EBR:ABI) stock is down 0.26% on the day following news that US lawmakers are concerned with the company’s $106 billion deal to purchase SABMiller (LON:SAB). The deal would allow the company to expand into several markets, including Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Lawmakers are concerned that the merger will hurt the fast-growing craft beer industry in the United States.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will not have an impact on the approval of the merger by the US Justice Department. Many advocates are urging the Justice Department to proceed with caution, as many mega-beer companies are harming the market. Anheuser-Busch’s parent company, InBev, purchased the company in 2008, and has also purchased several craft beer companies and distributors in the past six years.

Advocates are asking CEO Carlos Brito to commit to not pushing small craft brewers out of the business and terminating wholesalers. Brito did respond, saying that the acquisition of the company has more to do with Africa, Asia and Latin America than it does the United States.

Sen. Chris Coons also stated that “consumers do not want to go to bars, and only be presented with the option to buy Budweiser or Miller beer.” Craft breweries are concerned that the company will be using the same network of distributors as they have done in the past. Anheuser-Busch has purchased distributors in the past, and caused small breweries to find other means of distribution for their product.

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