US Stops Budweiser, Corona From Joining Forces, Becoming Beer Behemoth
We always knew that Anheuser-Busch InBev had a monopoly when it came to booze (we mean, it owns Budweiser... which sponsors the Super Bowl... ), but it turns out that InBev has some bigger plans.
Apparently, InBev was planning on closing on a cash deal to buy Grupo Modelo, the company behind Corona Extra, Modelo Especial, and Pacifico.
Currently, InBev owns 50 percent of noncontrolling stake in Modelo, the DOJ reports, which it inherited when it bought out Budweiser in 2008. It has a 42 percent voting interest in Modelo, and no operational control.
The DOJ, however, claims that the $20.1 billion deal would give InBev the power to change the market, as the deal would give InBev the rest of the Modelo stake. Ultimately, the DOJ suggests, InBev and Modelo merging "would result in less competition and higher beer prices for American consumers."
Naturally, InBev and Modelo intend to contest the DOJ's lawsuit, saying that Bud Light and Corona Extra would remain separate, as another company, Constellation Brands, would control the import and sale of Corona Extra. InBev and Modelo collectively control 46 percent of annual beer sales, however, meaning that if they do somehow finagle a pricing partnership, cheap beer drinkers everywhere might just be screwed.