Small Brewer’s Caucus sends letter to Justice Department over AB InBev–SABMiller merger

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Who says Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything?

The Small Brewer’s Caucus in the House of Representatives sent a bi-partisan letter to the Department of Justice outlining their concerns over the Anheuser-Busch InBev acquisition of SABMiller. This after U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee led a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights to look into the implications of the merger back in December 2015.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), co-Chairmen of the House Small Brewer’s Caucus, led the letter with Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) urging the Department of Justice to undertake a comprehensive review of the massive global merger of beer manufacturers Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and SABMiller.

“This deal is the largest global acquisition to date in the beer industry, and one of the largest acquisitions of a consumer goods company ever,” the caucus wrote in the letter. “As such, we believe that it is appropriate for the Department’s review to be even more comprehensive than its review of ABI’s acquisition of Grupo Modelo in 2012 and 2013.”

The House Small Brewers Caucus primary concern is AB InBev’s increased leverage on all aspects of the U.S. beer industry, particularly distribution. Small brewers also fear that AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller would affect the pricing and availability of supplies needed to make their product, such as hops and barley.

Read the full letter here.


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