AB Inbev Defends Big Beer Merger With SABMiller To U.S. Senate

ab inbev sabmiller hearing big beer merger macro

This one is for the super beer nerds.

Budweiser parent, AB Inbev, has all but bought competitor SABMiller for a purchase price of over $100 Billion, amounting to the largest M&A transaction the global beer industry has ever seen.

The proposed merger has raised the ire of governments, market watchdogs and beer industry trade organizations the world over.

Today at 10:00 AM Eastern, the U.S. Senate Judiciary is hearing testimony from AB’s CEO and the heads of two U.S. beer industry trade representatives to contemplate the justification of AB’s attempted takeover.

We found links for you to watch and listen live to this technically historic event – Ensuring Competition Remains on Tap: The AB InBev/SABMiller merger and the State of Competition in the Beer Industry

Webcast (link to appear before scheduled time)

Audio Livestream

Update: Hearing was at 10AM on 12-8 and Testimony was given.

USA Today write-up excerpts:

Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, told Senate lawmakers the proposed transaction between his firm and SABMiller — the world’s two largest brewing giants — wouldn’t stifle competition in the U.S. beer market.

“This transaction is really about the rest of the world, not the U.S.”, said Brito, citing post-deal plans to expand in parts of Asia, Africa and parts of South America. The deal would have “no impact” in the U.S., he added.

Craft beer representation fired back:

They contended that Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors would control most wholesale channels to those markets and could make it more difficult for smaller U.S. competitors to gain entry.

Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association, a group representing more than 2,800 craft brewers, urged that Anheuser-Busch InBev be required to sell its company-owned beer wholesalers in California, Colorado, New York, Ohio and five other states as a condition for merger approval.

Small brewers worry that otherwise, wholesalers would feel increased pressure “not to sell” beer produced by smaller rivals, Pease said.

Read More

Full Testimony from Senate Judiciary Committee website.

Member Statements
  1. Senator Patrick Leahy D (VT)
Witnesses
  1. Mr. Carlos Brito
    Chief Executive Officer
    Anheuser-Busch InBev
    Greenwich , CT
  2. Mr. Bob Pease
    Chief Executive Officer
    Brewers Assocation
    Boulder , CO
  3. Mr. Craig Purser
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    National Beer Wholesalers Association
    Alexandria , VA
  4. Mr. J. Wilson
    Minister of Iowa Beer
    Iowa Brewers Guild
    Prescott , IA
  5. Dr. Diana Moss
    President
    American Antitrust Institute
    Boulder , CO
  6. Mr. Mark Hunter
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Molson Coors
    Denver , CO

Other details about the proposed merger.

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