EU hits brewery AB InBev with anti-trust fine

2019-05-13 13:05

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BRUSSELS, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission has fined AB InBev, the world's biggest beer brewery, over 200 million euros (225 million U.S. dollars) for breaching EU anti-trust rules.

The Commission said in a Monday statement that the fine, in the exact amount of 200,409,000 euros, is related to AB InBev's restriction of cross-border sales of its popular beer.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: "Consumers in Belgium have been paying more for their favorite beer because of AB InBev's deliberate strategy to restrict cross border sales between the Netherlands and Belgium. Attempts by dominant companies to carve up the (European) Single Market to maintain high prices are illegal."

AB InBev's most popular beer brand in Belgium is Jupiler. AB InBev also sells Jupiler beer in other EU Member States, including the Netherlands and France.

Specifically, the European Commission found that in the Netherlands, AB InBev sells Jupiler to retailers and wholesalers at lower prices than in Belgium due to increased competition, and the beer giant pursued a deliberate strategy to restrict the possibility for supermarkets and wholesalers to buy Jupiler beer at lower prices in the Netherlands and to import it into Belgium.
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