The bottles may feature different labels, but if a new deal between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller — the largest and second largest brewers in the world, respectively — goes through, a huge portion of the world's beer will be made by just one company. According to Reuters, AB InBev, which is based in Belgium, has approached its rival, SABMiller "about a takeover" that would form a corporation which "makes around a third of the beer consumed globally." The company would also account for 75 percent of the beer market in the United States.
The New York Times notes that if the deal goes through, the new joint company would have a market value of $276 billion, yes, billion. AB InBev makes brands like Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois while SABMiller produces Miller Lite, Peroni, and Pilsner Urquell. The mega company would also have a predicted annual revenue of $69 billion dollars. SABMiller has not responded to the proposal and notes in a press release that no decision has really been made yet: "The board of SABMiller will review and respond as appropriate to any proposal which might be made."
Still, a potential merger between AB InBev and SABMiller is bad news for craft brewers and anyone who has to say the potential new company's name (AB InBev SABMiller? ABSAB InBevMiller? ABMiller SAB InBev?). Mega beer corporations have more money and leverage than craft brewers and have used that to keep craft brewers at bay. And if that doesn't work, the corporations are just buying up the craft beer companies. So you might want to savor those non-giant corporation tinged hops while you can.