We knew it was only a matter of time that InBev and SABMiller would become one mega beer conglomerate.
This was not a surprise for anyone in the alcohol industry. After other major countries approved the merger it was basically a done deal that the U.S. would approve one of the largest buy outs in history. InBev and SABMiller will eventually merge into the largest brewing company in the world. 1 out of every 3 beers drank worldwide will be owned by the new company that is created.
What does this say for the craft industry? We’re not sure. In the U.S. Miller products will still be owned independently by MoslonCoors and not by InBev. Stopping what would have been a near 70+% monopoly of the beer market. Good job anti-trust laws, thanks Teddy! In my opinion, it will not do much to affect the craft beer movement. Consumers know what they want to drink, and they are becoming more educated about the difference between craft and Macro brands. In fact, a couple of the requirements the DOJ put forth in order to accept the merger will probably help craft breweries. InBev will not be allowed to sell more than 10% of their brands through InBev owned distributors. They will also no longer be able to incentivize wholesalers into ignoring competitions brands and creating a pay to play scenario in distributorships. And finally, any acquisition of any new craft breweries will have to pass anti-trust legislation before being approved. This probably explains why AB InBev has been on a craft brewery shopping frenzy in the past few years… inevitably knowing something like this would happen.
The InBev and SABMiller companies of the world are here, and they will be for a long time. However, that won’t stop people from searching out and discovering better quality brews as long as they are available. This is really more of a global merger for the 2 companies. Yes a lot of nations have anti-trust laws that have to be adhered too, but a lot do not. InBev is consolidating it’s control over the beer market where it can while it can. That’s what this is really all about. To learn more details about the merger and the U.S. approval click here.