The merger of beer giants AB InBev and SABMiller, which will form a company that control's 30 percent of the global market, continues to progress. South Africa's regulatory Competition Commission approved the deal on Tuesday, reports Bloomberg, following AB InBev's agreement to certain conditions.
To move forward, AB InBev reportedly promised to sell SABMiller's 26 percent stake in South African wine, cider, and spirits producer Distell Group Ltd. within three years of closing the deal. This follows a pledge to put $69 million toward "support[ing] farmers, local manufacturing, jobs, and the reduction of harmful alcohol use," including funding new commercial farms that will produce hops and barley for beer production. Before AB InBev agreed to the conditions, the South African government had expressed concerns the merger would limit competition and reduce jobs in the country.
Previously, AB InBev agreed to sell stakes in Chinese beer company Snow, along with Italy's Peroni; the Netherlands' Grolsch; Chicago-based MillerCoors; and holdings in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. All of those moves resulted in European Union regulators green-lighting the deal last week.
The proposed merger is closer to becoming a reality, but it still faces obstacles. Last December, a group of American beer drinkers filed a lawsuit to stop what they perceive as a monopoly in the making. And while AB InBev claims the deal is simply a way to expand globally, some U.S. Senators believe it may have a negative impact on this country's craft beer industry.