Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Washington, D.C.— “The Department of Justice must act decisively to block the proposed merger between the world’s two largest breweries — a deal that would create a unrivaled beer monopoly, raise prices and reduce choices. Federal antitrust regulators have been asleep at the switch allowing the food, beverage and agribusiness industry to gain a stranglehold on everyone’s refrigerator and this is a mega-merger too far.
“Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced it had reached an agreement to acquire its rival brewery SABMiller for $104 billion. Not only will this join two of the world’s most recognizable beer companies but also a network of allied beer distribution firms that control what rivals — including thousands of craft breweries — get onto store shelves. This merger is the latest in a wave of mergers between food and beverage corporations and will squeeze smaller, independent beer companies out of grocery and liquor stores, limiting competition and consumer choice.
“The merger will create a powerful beer baron controlling nearly one-third of worldwide sales and 70 percent of American beer sales. Combined, ABInBev and SABMiller accounted for about 38 billion of the 54 billion pints of beer sold in America in 2014. InBev will now control most of America’s major beer brands including Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois, Bass, Becks, Busch, Goose Island, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Blue Moon, Fosters, Miller, Milwaukee’s Best, Peroni and many, many others. Like other mergers, this one upholds the illusion of consumer choice while stifling innovation and bolstering already wealthy and powerful corporations. We urge the Justice Department to stop this merger.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, [email protected]