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Why Heineken's Rejection of Miller Won't Stop Beer Industry Monopolies

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All of the world's biggest beer brands will eventually be controlled by only a few different companies. According to Bloomberg, SABMiller, which owns the Miller brand, attempted to acquire Heineken NV to help put it in stronger competition with Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. (Anheuser-Busch controls a full fifth of the world's beer production). While the offer was rejected by Heineken because the company "intends to remain independent," the attempted deal sheds light on a growing number of beer monopolies.

A beverage industry analyst tells the New York Times that "there is definitely room for more megadeals." Already, Anheuser-Busch — which was acquired by InBev NV for over $60 billion— "controls about 21 percent of the global beer market share" including beers like Modelo, Budweiser, and Bud Light. SABMiller, which also owns Foster's, was looking to match that percentage with the acquisition of Heineken. Regulators are now becoming "weary of big companies getting bigger" and rightfully so. Slate notes that Anheuser-Busch and SABMiller may soon merge: Busch is "reportedly talking to bankers" about plans to buy Miller. Together, the two companies would "control almost one-third of the planet's beer sales." It's no wonder then that an increasing number of consumers are turning to craft beer.

· SABMiller Spurned [Bloomberg]
· SABMiller's Bid for Heineken Opens the Door [NYT]
· The Maker of Bud Wants to Buy the Maker of Miller [Slate]
· All Beer Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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