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Like a drunk closing down a bar, beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev doesn’t know when to stop. That’s the message of the Department of Justice’s recent lawsuit to block A-B InBev’s $20.1 billion takeover of Mexican beer giant Modelo, maker of the iconic (and, in my opinion, insipid) Corona brand, along with other popular brands like Pacifico, Negro Modelo, and Victoria. According to the DOJ’s complaint (PDF), A-B InBev already controls 39 percent of the US beer market, rival MillerCoors owns 26 percent, and Modelo has 7 percent.
By the DOJ’s reckoning, allowing A-B InBev and Modelo to combine would bring AB InBev’s market share up to 46 percent, leaving two companiesâ€”A-B InBev and MillerCoorsâ€”with 72 percent of the beer market. That’s about three of every four beers consumed in the United States.
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