The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved a merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, two of the largest breweries in the world, but not without some caveats.
According to a DOJ press release, the new company must divest ownership of MillerCoors, which would include Tenth and Blake, the craft beer division that includes Blue Moon Brewing Co., Crispin Cider Co., Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. and Saint Archer Brewing Co. Just today the company announced it would be acquiring a majority stake in Terrapin Beer Co.
Molson Coors, a separate company, is expected to take ownership of MillerCoors, including its 12 U.S.-based breweries. The DOJ imposed additional restrictions because it was concerned that Molson Coors and AB InBev, which have joint business in other areas, could pose potential anti-trust violations
In addition, the new company must give up rights to brew “to brew and sell certain SABMiller beers in the United States and the worldwide Miller beer brand rights.”
“ABI and MillerCoors jointly account for approximately 70 percent of beer sold in the United States,” according to the complaint by the justice department. “The acquisition would create many highly concentrated local geographic markets, with some combined shares in excess of 90 percent.”
In Oct. 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed in principle to purchase SABMiller for $104 billion. According to a story in USA Today, the final deal is for $107 billion, and while the company has received approval in 21 jurisdictions, it is still awaiting approval in China.