July 21,2016

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Wyden Comments On Justice Department Requirements For Beer Merger

Wyden Continues to Fight for Oregon’s Small and Independent Brewers

WASHINGTON – Following the announcement today by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to impose new requirements on the proposed merger between beer makers Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement by the DOJ is an important first step in recognizing the need to protect Oregon’s small and independent brewers,” Wyden said. “In the days and weeks ahead I will continue to fight to ensure Oregon’s craft beverage producers enjoy fair access to distribution chains and consumers.”

The settlement announced today would prohibit Anheuser-Busch InBev from continuing programs designed to disadvantage craft brewers. In addition, it would require the DOJ review subsequent acquisitions of breweries or distributors by the merged company, and set caps on the company’s ability to market products through distributors under its control.

Following reports of the proposed merger in November, Wyden sent a letter urging the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to closely consider the merger’s impact on consumers and on the ability for small brewers to access tap lines and store shelves.   

Wyden has long been an advocate of Oregon’s craft beverage industry. As part of his effort to promote job creation and healthy competition in the growing beverage industry, Wyden also introduced the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. The bill would cut taxes and modernize outdated regulations for craft brewers, cider makers, vintners and distillers.  He also successfully passed legislation last year to simplify tax compliance for craft beverage producers and repeal unnecessary limitations for cider makers.