AB InBev, SABMiller merger given preliminary OK from Justice Department

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The U.S. Department of Justice has entered into a consent decree with Anheuser Busch InBev, paving the way for its planned $108 billion merger with SABMiller.

The decree makes clear the terms by which the Antitrust Division will allow the proposed merger, which AB InBev still expects to complete by the end of 2016.

Among the stipulations is the long-planned preemptive measure by SABMiller to divest all of their stake in MillerCoors. SABMiller will also relinquish control of Miller products worldwide.

The decree also formalizes the conditions under which AB InBev will treat wholesalers and distributors, as well as the putting the future acquisition of breweries and distributorships under regulatory purview.

AB InBev will not be allowed to enact programs, such as covering marketing costs, to incentivize distributors from focusing solely AB InBev products.

[H/t Beer Pulse, Wall Street Journal]

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