FDBusiness.com

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

 Breaking News
  • Heineken Delivers Strong Top-line Growth in 2019 Global brewer Heineken achieved 5.6% organic growth in net revenue (beia) to €23.894 billion for 2019 and operating profit grew 3.9% organically to €4.020 billion. However, the operating profit margin...
  • Molson Coors Partners With e.fundamentals to Help Drive UK Online Sales Molson Coors, one of the world’s largest brewers, has partnered with ecommerce analytics provider e.fundamentals to help drive sales of its beers through retailers’ websites in the UK. E.fundamentals’ service...
  • Manor Farm Wins IFSA Best Sustainable Food Product Award 2020 Irish chicken producer Manor Farm has won the IFSA (Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance) Best Sustainable Food Product Award 2020. Manor Farm, received the award for the company’s ‘Farmers to Market’...
  • Heineken Announces CEO Succession Jean-François van Boxmeer (pictured left), Chairman and CEO of Heineken, is to step down following his successful 15 year leadership of the company. He will be succeeded by Dolf van...
  • DMK Group Aims to Optimise Ice Cream Production DMK Group, Germany’s largest dairy co-operative, intends to streamline the production network in its ice cream business unit. This involves selling its Waldfeucht-Haaren production site in North Rhine-Westphalia. Schwarz Produktion,...

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.


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/fdbusiness/public_html/wp-content/themes/legatus-theme/includes/single/post-tags.php on line 5
Share

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

[eventlist]

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here



Advertisements