DOJ Gives Preliminary OK to AB InBev Acquistion of SABMiller
On July 20th, the Department of Justice released its proposed Final Judgment expressing a conditional approval of AB InBev's purchase of SABMiller. This clears one of the last--and largest--hurdles standing in the way of this deal. Having already received approval from South Africa, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, and the European Commission (and many other countries), the key remaining regulator to convince is China.
The DOJ's approval is conditional upon AB InBev following through on several conditions, including carrying out the planned divestment of SABMiller's U.S. interests in MillerCoors to Molson Coors, providing Molson Coors with royalty-free access to SABMiller brands imported into the U.S. for sale by Molson Coors, guaranteeing future access to AB InBev-SABMiller distribution networks to non-AB InBev-SABMiller brewers, and limitations on future acquisitions by AB InBev.
This merger, between the worlds largest and second-largest brewers, has been a large source of contention in the beverage alcohol community, with many expressing concern that smaller producers, especially craft producers, will be squeezed out of the market. While much of the media has focused on the overwhelming share of beer production the merged companies will control, many in the industry have expressed greater concern over the shrinking of the distribution lines.
We at ShipCompliant intend to shortly release a larger blog post to go over this merger in more detail. Until then, we invite you to post your questions and comments here.