Home » Connecticut Senator Voices Concern Over Beer Merger

Connecticut Senator Voices Concern Over Beer Merger

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Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:12 pm

After hearing concerns from 32 Connecticut breweries, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to carefully consider the impact the proposed merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller would have on independent craft brewers across the country.

“I have heard from a number of small craft brewery owners in my state of Connecticut who are already facing challenges accessing an effective and reliable distribution system, and who are deeply concerned about the potential negative impact this merger could have on the market,” said Murphy in a letter to Assistant Attorney General William J. Baer. “Many of these breweries have informed me, for example, that they consistently have difficulty procuring sufficient cans to distribute their product, raising concerns that larger producers like AB InBev and SAB Miller may already be impacting the supply of this critical component for their business. Merging these two companies into a larger market player with the ability to control an even greater share of the supply and distribution chains could have a significant impact on the continued viability of the currently thriving craft beer industry. Thus, the unique challenges in distribution and access that small craft brewers face in Connecticut and elsewhere require careful consideration as part of your review of the AB InBev-SABMiller merger.”

Other members of Congress also have expressed concern about the merger. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Angus King (I-Maine), along with Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona), are urging the Justice Department and other antitrust regulators to scrutinize any agreement the companies reach.

Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) also has weighed in.

“It concerns me very much,” he told The Hill. “And it should be a concern to the American people who believe in a competitive economy that you do not have.”

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