Lee, Klobuchar Hold Hearing on Proposed Inbev, SABMiller Merger

December 8, 2015

WASHINGTON— Today, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, issued the following statements following their hearing on Anheuser–Busch Inbev’s proposal to purchase SABMiller.
"The American beer market is a more than $100 billion business, and delivers a product that, in both its national brand and regional craft brew forms, holds a special place in American culture and hospitality,” Lee said. “Today’s hearing helped answer some of the questions we had about the merger and mitigated many of our concerns about the transaction."
“Today’s hearing was an opportunity to discuss how merging the world’s two biggest beer producers would impact competition and consumers across the country,” Klobuchar said. “We examined how the proposed merger would affect the price of a pint as well as the craft brewers who are serving up world class beers across the country. Wholesalers make decisions everyday on what brands to put on their trucks. By working to ensure those decisions are driven by consumer demand and not producer power, we can help competition in the beer industry remain on tap.”
During the hearing, Klobuchar highlighted the thriving craft brewery industry in Minnesota and pressed the witnesses on how the proposed merger would affect it. There are currently more than 70 breweries in Minnesota, which is more than the entire country had in 1978.