Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) company is looking to acquire Corona brewer Grupo Modelo for an estimated price of $20.1 billion.
The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit today that could put an end to the deal. The U.S. Justice Department contends that this merger would lead to a lack of competition in the beer market.
The U.S. Justice Department stated that both firms combined bring in about 46 percent of the $80 billion in annual beer sales in the U.S. This market share is noted as being too big of a market share for just one company.
Assistant attorney general Bill Baer provided a statement to BBC UK about the forthcoming lawsuit:
If ABI fully owned and controlled Modelo, ABI would be able to increase beer prices to American consumers. This lawsuit seeks to prevent ABI from eliminating Modelo as an important competitive force in the beer industry.
Anheuser-Busch InBev responded to Baer's statement with this:
We remain confident in our position, and we intend to vigorously contest the DOJ’s action in federal court.
The Beer Institute shows that the beer industry is a $223 billion industry. That also includes more than 2,500 brewers and 1.8 million jobs. Bud Light currently stands as the best selling beer in the nation, while Corona Extra is the best-selling imported beer. The Justice Department fears that a Budweiser/Corona merger would control nearly half of all beer sales in the U.S.
We'll just have to wait and see if this lawsuit keeps the mega powers of beer from driving up the price of your buzz.
Here's the DOJ's official complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.: