In 2008, InBev acquired American icon brewery Anheuser-Busch in a hostile takeover, turning it into the largest beer conglomerate in the world. Since then SAB Miller has purchased Coors, making that combined company the second-largest brewery in the world. In order to head off the growing competition, Anheuser-Busch InBev is trying to grow its own business, and when you can’t build a brand, you buy a brand. AB InBev is actively trying to purchase Grupo Modelo, and the Justice Department has filed suit to stop them.
“We took this action today because we believe the acquisition is a bad deal for American consumers,” said Bill Baer, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, which successfully blocked the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
The big concern about this deal is the sheer size of the two companies. Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s largest beer manufacturer, with such brands as Budweiser, Busch, Bud Light, and Stella Artois. Grupo Modelo is the world’s third-largest brewery, with Corona carrying the bulk of the weight of that company’s products in North America. InBev owns 50 percent of Grupo Modelo already and is seeking to buy the rest of it.
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