Foundation says Justice Department should investigate beer monopolies

By Samantha Kimmey
Friday, December 14, 2012 23:51 EDT
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Drinking beer via AFP
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The New America Foundation is calling on Congress to push the Justice Department on the question of whether major beer producers like Anheuser-Busch InBev are violating antitrust law, reported the National Monitor.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which bought Anheuser-Busch in 2008, is currently seeking federal approval to buy the Mexico-based Grupo Modelo.

Taken together, Anheuser-Busch Inbev and MillerCoors control about 80 percent of the beer market in the United States, according to the foundation.

A new report from New America claims that market consolidation will ultimately drive microbreweries and craft beer out of the market, reported ABC News.

At a recent panel hosted by the foundation, many argued that the post-prohibition system that separates the industry into three tiers — producers, distributors, and retail sellers — that should prevent monopolies is quickly being pushed to its limits. Because the big producers have grown exponentially and control a mammoth percentage of the market, “They have a great level of influence on what’s supposed to be an independent tier in pressuring those distributors to favor their product,” said Dogfish Head Brewery’s Sam Calagione, one of the panelists.

[Image via AFP]

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