FDBusiness.com

Formal Investigation into AB InBev’s Practices on Belgian Beer Market

 Breaking News
  • Coca-Cola European Partners to Remove 4,000 Tonnes of Single-use Plastic by Swapping Shrink Wrap For Cardboard in Western Europe Coca-Cola European Partners, will be replacing plastic shrink wrap with cardboard for its can multipacks across Western Europe, removing approximately 4,000 tonnes of single-use plastic per year across the region. This is the latest move in Coca-Cola’s commitment to tackle packaging waste and remove all unnecessary single-use plastic from its secondary packaging. Plastic shrink wrapping is used [...]...
  • EU Leading in Global Agri-food Trade The EU has been confirmed for yet another year in its position as the largest global exporter of agri-food products, with sales reaching €138 billion in 2018. Agriculture products represent a solid share of 7% of the value of EU total goods exported in 2018, ranking fourth after machinery, other manufactured goods and chemicals. Agriculture and [...]...
  • Is ‘Flexitarianism’ the Future? A workshop held recently at the University of Nottingham has revealed that ‘flexitarianism’ is a new and growing trend amongst British consumers. Delegates at an event that discussed plant-based diets heard how eating more plant-based products represented a sustainable future for food and drink production. Organised by the Agrifood Training Partnership (AFTP), and chaired by AFTP [...]...
  • Chivas Brothers Opens New Head Office Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, has opened a new 27,000 sq ft head office in the centre of Glasgow. Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers, says: “We need to keep moving with the times and this is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for Chivas Brothers [...]...
  • Unilever Achieves 100% Renewable Electricity Across Five Continents Unilever has announced that its factories, offices, R&D facilities, data centres, warehouses and distribution centres across five continents are now powered by 100% renewable grid electricity. As far as possible, Unilever’s transition to renewable electricity has been delivered through supporting the development of local renewable energy markets, with 38% of its grid electricity supplied through [...]...

Formal Investigation into AB InBev’s Practices on Belgian Beer Market

Formal Investigation into AB InBev’s Practices on Belgian Beer Market
July 04
12:46 2016

The European Commission has opened an investigation, on its own initiative, to assess whether Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AB InBev) has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market by hindering imports of its beer from neighbouring countries, in breach of EU antitrust rules.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said “AB Inbev’s strong position on the Belgian beer market is not a problem. However, we want to make sure that there are no anticompetitive obstacles to trade in beer within the European Single Market. Keeping out cheaper imports of its beer from neighbouring countries would be both against the interests of consumers and anti-competitive”.

The Commission will investigate further to establish whether its initial concerns are confirmed: its preliminary view is that AB InBev may be pursuing a deliberate strategy to restrict so-called ‘parallel trade’ of its beer from less expensive countries, such as the Netherlands and France, to the more expensive Belgian market.

In particular, the Commission will investigate certain potentially anti-competitive practices by AB InBev such as:

* possibly changing the packaging of beer cans/bottles to make it harder to sell them in other countries

* possibly limiting ‘non-Belgian’ retailers access to rebates and key products to prevent them from bringing less expensive beer products to Belgium.

If established, such behaviours would create anti-competitive obstacles to trade within the EU’s Single Market and breach Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Consumers, national competition authorities and the European Parliament have repeatedly voiced concerns that prices for common food and drink products can significantly vary between (neighbouring) EU Member States, without any objective or justified reason. They have also alleged that operators raise obstacles to trade from less expensive countries to more expensive countries (so-called parallel trade) and have called upon the Commission to address these obstacles and ensure more convergence of prices inside the European internal market.

Article 102 TFEU prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position which may affect trade between Member States. The implementation of this provision is defined in the EU Antitrust Regulation (Council Regulation No 1/2003), which can also be applied by national competition authorities.

The initiation of proceedings by the Commission relieves the competition authorities of the Member States of their competence to apply EU competition rules to the practices concerned.

The Commission has informed AB InBev and the competition authorities of the Member States concerned that it has opened proceedings in this case.

There is no legal deadline for bringing an antitrust investigation to an end. The duration of an investigation depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the cooperation of the undertakings with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • October 1, 2019PPMA Total Show
  • October 17, 2019Future Food-Tech
  • November 18, 2019Plastics Caps and Closures Conference 2019
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here



Advertisements