BRUSSELS, May 24 - EU antitrust regulators approved on Tuesday Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller on condition that it sell almost the whole of SABMiller’s beer business in Europe.
The Belgium-based maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois has already agreed to sell SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime beer brands to Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings Ltd and to divest eastern European assets.
The European Commission said that Europeans bought around 125 billion euros of beer every year so even a relatively small increase would cause considerable harm to consumers.
“It was therefore very important that AB InBev’s takeover of SABMiller did not reduce competition on European beer markets,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Reuters was the first to report that AB InBev’s concessions would secure the EU green light for one of the largest corporate takeovers ever. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)