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Biggest beer merger in history given go-ahead

Published:  21 July, 2016

The US Justice Department has given antitrust approval for Anheuser-Busch InBev - the world's largest beer company - to acquire SABMiller - the world's second largest beer company.

The acquisition has been going through the courts for months over fears the proposed conglomerate would be in breech of anti-competition laws.

But yesterday (July 20), permission was given to the Budweiser and Corona maker on the condition that the conglomerate agree to "refrain from practices that restrict distribution of smaller, competing brands."

A-B InBev will also have to sell off SABMiller's stake in MillerCoors.

In a statement, Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, insisted the merger would increase consumer choice, not restrict it.

"With today's agreement, we have taken a significant step forward on the transaction, which will create the world's first truly global brewer.

"Our combination with SABMiller will bring more choice to more beer drinkers?and extend the global reach of our iconic American brands, such as Budweiser?in markets outside of the US," he said.

The merger would create a massive, $107 billion beverage empire, with the company controlling 30 percent of the global beer market.

Although the merger has now been approved in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, the deal is reportedly still awaiting final approval in China.

SABMiller's headquarters are based in London and produces Fosters, Grolsch and Peroni.