Wednesday, January 19, 2022

ACCC to allow AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose the proposed acquisition of SABMiller plc (SABMiller) by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev).

“The ACCC has concluded that the proposed acquisition is not likely to substantially lessen competition in the Australian beer market,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC said that the proposed acquisition would not significantly change the current market structure. The two largest suppliers of beer in Australia are Lion and SABMiller, which owns Carlton & United Breweries (CUB). While AB InBev’s brands have been successful in Australia, they have previously been distributed via either Lion or CUB.

“The ACCC considers that the proposed acquisition is unlikely to result in higher beer prices for consumers,” Mr Sims said.

AB InBev is the world’s largest brewer and is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. SABMiller is a multinational brewing and beverage company based in London, England. Significantly, for the deal to progress, AB InBev has agreed to terminate its distribution deal with Lion. The ACCC had been concerned that, if these distribution agreements continued, the proposed acquisition may have increased the ability and incentive for coordination between Lion and AB InBev/SABMiller.

“The termination of the distribution arrangements therefore resolved the ACCC’s competition concerns,” Mr Sims said.

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