Competition won’t oppose beer mergers


OTTAWA – The Competition Bureau says it won’t oppose two proposed beer mergers involving Canada’s largest breweries.

In a ruling announced Tuesday, the federal agency said the proposed acquisition of SABMiller by Labatt parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev and related divestiture of Miller brands to Molson Coors will not lessen or prevent competition in Canada.

The US$107-billion global deal announced in November will see Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch acquiring Foster’s Lager and Castle brands in Canada.

Overall, it will give the company control over 31 per cent of the global beer market.

Molson Coors, meanwhile, is poised to nearly double its size after agreeing to spend US$12 billion for SABMiller’s share of U.S. joint venture Miller Coors and Miller’s International brands, including those sold in Canada such as Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite.

The European Union’s regulator has already given its go-ahead for the deal.