U.S. approves A-B InBev acquisition of SABMiller

Anheuser-Busch InBev won antitrust approval Wednesday for its $107 billion takeover of rival SABMiller after agreeing to give up ownership of the Miller brands in the U.S. and open the door to greater competition from craft brewers.

With the green light from the Justice Department, Belgium-based A-B InBev said it was on track to complete the transaction — the biggest-ever combination in the beer industry — in the second half of 2016.

To secure the U.S. approval of the merger, A-B InBev and SABMiller agreed to several measures to protect competition in the U.S. beer market.

  • Denver-based Molson Coors will buy SABMiller’s 58 percent stake in MillerCoors, gaining the rights to all SABMiller beer brands currently imported or licensed for sale in the U.S..
  • A-B InBev agrees to curtail incentive programs that encourage beer distributors to sell more A-B InBev beer than its rivals.
  • Justice Department approval will be required before A-B InBev can acquire any additional craft beer brands.

The world’s largest brewer, which has already secured approvals in 21 jurisdictions around the world, still awaits antitrust approval in China.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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