The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced it had filed an antitrust lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company that makes Budweiser beer, to block its proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of a majority of Grupo Modelo, the Mexican beer giant that exports Corona, Negra Modelo, and Pacifico beers.
In its news release, the DOJ noted that Americans spent $80 billion on beer last year, and provided the following statement of rationale behind the suit.
“The department is taking this action to stop a merger between major beer brewers because it would result in less competition and higher beer prices for American consumers,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “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.”