The maker of the “The King of Beers” will not be expanding its kingdom. Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD), itself a creation of a merger, probably will be blocked from buying Grupo Modelo of Mexico. The U.S. Justice Department believes that the marriage would violate antitrust laws.
According to the Washington Post:
The merger, announced last summer, would also usher in further consolidation in the U.S. beer market, which has been steadily winnowed down to two major brewers in recent years: AB InBev, based in Belgium, and Chicago-based MillerCoors, the company behind Miller Lite and Coors.
Antitrust officials said Thursday they were alarmed by the prospect of AB InBev gaining even more market share by buying a direct competitor.
“We took this action today because we believe the acquisition is a bad deal for American consumers,” said Bill Baer, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division.