Justice Dept. Seeks to Block Anheuser’s Deal for Modelo

FEMSA BEERS by kirinqueenDealbook / The New York Times, 1/31/2013

The Justice Department sued on Thursday to block Anheuser-Busch InBev’s proposed $20.1 billion deal to buy control of Grupo Modelo of Mexico, arguing that the merger would significantly reduce competition in the American beer market. The deal, announced last summer, would add Corona Extra to the company’s formidable stable of brands, including Budweiser and Stella Artois.

But the Justice Department said in its lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, that allowing the merger to proceed would reduce competition in the beer industry across the country as a whole and in 26 metropolitan areas in particular. The combined company would control about 46 percent of annual sales in the country, the government said, far outpacing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s closest competitor, MillerCoors.

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