Together, two firms control 70% of the U.S. beer market.
In the U.S., 70% of the beer market is already controlled by two behemoth companies: SABMiller and AB InBev (also known as Anheuser-Busch). This huge market share gives them massive economic and political power, and allows them to control what beers reach store shelves. To compare: 3,400 craft beer companies only constitute an 11 percent share of the national market.
To make the deal happen, the companies plan to sell some of their ownership of U.S. brands. But another big player is ready to step in – MolsonCoors. After the merger, instead of AB InBev and SABMiller selling 70 percent of U.S. beer, AB InBev and MolsonCoors would sell 70 percent of U.S. beer—different names, same level of control, and no good news for beer drinkers.
What really changes with this deal is the companies’ global reach. After the merger, the new company will command 29 percent of the global beer market, and would be the top company in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and all of Latin America and Africa. AB InBev in particular has a history of buying up regional beers and discontinuing them so they can market brand Budweiser as a fancy import — for a higher price.
This deal is just the latest in a long string of mergers that drive the consolidation of our food, and drink, supply. When just a handful of companies make and sell most of our food (and beer), consumers, farmers, the environment and our democracy lose out. Learn more about the corporate control of our food and ask the Department of Justice to stop this disastrous merger.