FDBusiness.com

AB InBev Accused of Abusing Dominant Position in Belgium

 Breaking News
  • UK Bottled Water Sales Top 4 Billion Litres For First Time Last year’s hot summer boosted UK water drinks consumption by more than 7% to 4,267 million litres, according to a new report from food and drink experts Zenith Global. This was worth an estimated £3.330 billion at retail prices. Sales of plain bottled water in retail packs increased by 7.9% to 3.4 billion litres, whilst [...]...
  • Morrisons Signs Up to Arla UK 360 Farm Standards Programme Arla Foods’s new farming standards programme Arla UK 360 continues to gain traction as Morrisons becomes the first retailer to commit to supporting the standards across its entire Arla milk supply. The move means approximately 200 Arla farmer owners will be directly supported by Morrisons to deliver across the eight farm business areas identified in [...]...
  • Vitafoods Europe 2019 – Guiding the Industry to a More Sustainable Future As environmental awareness reaches new heights and the world’s population continues to rise, the issue of providing sustainable foods which also offer a high nutritional value is set to grow, in both importance and complexity, over the next decade. It is with these considerations in mind that Vitafoods Europe 2019 has developed its agenda. The [...]...
  • Nordzucker to Invest €100 Million in Swedish Sugar Production Nordzucker Group will concentrate its sugar production in Sweden at its factory in Örtofta and as part of this process the refinery at Arlöv will be closed. Around €100 million will be invested in the strategy. The project is expected to be completed in autumn 2021. Based at Braunschweig in Germany, Nordzucker Group is one [...]...
  • FrieslandCampina Plans to Build a Sustainable Dairy Processing Plant International dairy co-operative Royal FrieslandCampina is exploring options to build a sustainable and innovative dairy processing plant in the Netherlands. The plant is intended for the processing of member milk into fresh dairy products, ingredients used for the production of early life and adult nutrition, and for cheese manufacturing. It would be built according to [...]...

AB InBev Accused of Abusing Dominant Position in Belgium

AB InBev Accused of Abusing Dominant Position in Belgium
December 04
09:01 2017

The European Commission has informed AB InBev of its preliminary view that the company has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market, by hindering cheaper imports of its Jupiler and Leffe beers from the Netherlands and France into Belgium.

Effective competition is important for European consumers to reap all the benefits of the internal market. This case is an example of the Commission’s effort to ensure effective competition along all levels of the value chain from farmers, producers, distributors to consumers.

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “Belgian consumers may have had to pay more for their favourite beers. Our preliminary finding is that AB InBev may have deliberately prevented cheaper beer imports out of France and the Netherlands from reaching consumers in Belgium. Such practices would breach EU competition rules, because they deny consumers the benefits of the EU Single Market – choice and lower prices. AB InBev now has the opportunity to respond to our concerns.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AB InBev) is the world’s biggest beer brewer, with a very strong position on the Belgian beer market. Its most popular beer brands in Belgium are Jupiler and Leffe. AB InBev also sells these two brands in the Netherlands and France. The Commission’s investigation has shown that in these two countries AB InBev sells Jupiler and Leffe at lower prices than in Belgium due to the increased competition it faces there.

The Commission’s preliminary view, outlined in its Statement of Objections, is that AB InBev is dominant on the Belgian beer market. It alleges that AB InBev has abused this dominant market position by pursuing a deliberate strategy to prevent supermarkets and wholesalers from buying Jupiler and Leffe at lower prices in the Netherlands and France, and from importing them into Belgium.

In particular, the Commission is concerned with a number of AB InBev business practices, which have been in place since at least 2009. These include:

  • AB InBev changed the packaging of Jupiler and Leffe beer cans in the Netherlands and France to make it harder to sell them in Belgium: for example, it removed French text from its cans in the Netherlands, and Dutch text from its cans in France, to prevent their sale in the French and Dutch speaking parts of Belgium, respectively;
  • AB InBev limited access of Dutch retailers to key products and promotions, in order to prevent them from bringing less expensive beer products to Belgium: for example, it did not sell and/or limited the quantity of certain products sold to Dutch retailers and restricted the availability of certain promotions, if there was a chance that the Dutch retailers could import the products into Belgium.

The Commission’s preliminary view is that these practices have created anti-competitive obstacles to trade and partitioned the EU’s Single Market along national borders. If confirmed, this would infringe Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position.

The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • June 18, 2019Multimodal 2019
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here



Advertisements