An Awfully Bitter Brew
Should one beer behemoth control 70 percent of the U.S. market?
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall/ 99 bottles of beer/ Take one down, pass it around… only one bottle of beer on the wall.
Most people never sang that old song all the way to the end. But one multinational brewing corporation is finally ready to belt out the last verse.
The world's biggest beer conglomerate, Anheuser-Busch InBev, intends to gulp down the second biggest, SABMiller, leaving us with only one behemoth of brewing. The two mega-stouts of mass-market beer have agreed to a $104 billion merger deal.
Both giants are creatures of the global merger-mania that's consumed the industry in the past decade.
Anheuser-Busch was a St. Louis company built on the Budweiser brand. It was taken over in 2008 by a Brazilian consortium that had previously merged with a huge European brewing conglomerate. So plain old "Bud" is now AB InBev, headquartered in Belgium and also producing Corona, Stella Artois, Modelo, and a host of other brands.
Miller was a Milwaukee company until a similar series of mergers put it in the hands of a consortium controlled by a South American family dynasty and Altria, the tobacco giant that makes Marlboro cigarettes.
Now headquartered in London and named SABMiller, its roster of brews includes Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, and Grolsch. Plus it has joint ownership in the brands of the Canadian-based Molson Coors conglomerate.
These two sultans of suds say that the ABInBevSABMiller conglomeration of conglomerates is necessary for "future growth." Hogswill.
For consumers and beer industry workers, the deal is about shrinkage. The new colossus would control 70 percent of all U.S. beer sales and would own nearly half of the world's top 40 beer brands. It won't hesitate to use this monopolistic muscle to shrink consumer choice by squeezing independent breweries out of bars and retail outlets. And the merged entity is already planning to cut thousands of jobs.
That's an awfully bitter brew.
- Number of Bitcoin ATMs by Country
- AT&T Unveils New TV Streaming Service
- Alcohol & Sport: A Match Made In Heaven
- Plenty of Dough in Online Food Delivery
- Most Holiday Shopping Happens In December
- How Holiday Shoppers Decide Where to Buy
- E-Commerce Spending in Perspective
- Taxi Driver Earnings Compared To Uber
- Apple's First Annual Sales Decline in 15 Years
- How Apple's New Products Measure Up
- Bigger AT&T Is the Last Thing We Need
- Wells Fargo is Rotting from the Top Down
- The Stumpf Banking System
- Female CEOs Earn Much Less Than Their Male Counterparts
- The Highest-Paid CEOs
- The Most Valuable Public Company in Every State
- Is Tim Cook's Apple Past Its Peak?
- Companies That Might Disappear in 2017
- More Chobani Capitalism, Please
- Better Labels, Better Food
- The Big Banks Can Be Beaten
- Putting Free Speech Out to Pasture
- The 50 Best Investments
- China Closes the Innovation Gap
- Companies Stockpiling the Most Profit Overseas
- Oil's Downfall Aided by Rise of Fracking
- The Richest Banks
- Crime Can Pay if It's Big Enough
- The Good Food Movement Needs Science, Too
- How Buffett Became a Billionaire
- The Most Successful Companies Founded Since 1944
- Big Pharma Killed Medicine
- Corporate Power Doesn't Always Win
- Wall Street Should Pay a Sales Tax, Too
- Pay Fair or Pay Up
- An Awfully Bitter Brew
- Has Mike's Hard Lemonade Gone Soft?
- Starbucks: Most Popular First Date Spot, According To Dating App
- Starbucks to Pay for All Its Employees to Go to College
- Introducing the Martha Stewart Café
- Your Next Guinness Will Come With a Nutrition Label
- Vodka Market Souring?
- Japan's Suntory Aims to Break into Vodka
- An 'Experimental' Vodka Distillery
- Diageo CEO on How We Drink
- Lawsuit Alleges Cheap California Wine Has High Levels of Arsenic
- Spain Overtakes France as Top Wine Exporter
- Maple Moon Sweetens the Nation as America's First Maple Winery
- Zip Codes Affect Booze Prices
Business: "An Awfully Bitter Brew"