Posted Feb 02, 2013 12:06 am CST
The Justice Department on Thursday sued to stop a planned merger of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev with Mexico’s largest beer maker, Grupo Modelo.
Justice officials argue the merger would threaten competition and drive up beer prices, the Washington Post reports.
If the two beer giants merge, a deal valued at $20.1 billion, AB InBev would add the popular Corona brand to its menu, which already includes Budweiser, Bud Light, Beck’s and Stella.
According to the Post, DOJ officials were alarmed by AB InBev’s movement to buy a direct competitor.
“We took this action today because we believe the acquisition is a bad deal for American consumers,” Bill Baer, who heads the DOJ’s antitrust division, is quoted saying.
AB InBev, which already owns a 50 percent stake in Grupo Modelo, responded to the action by saying it intends to vigorously contest the DOJ’s action.
Fox News Latino notes that the action is the largest merger to face DOJ opposition since antitrust official sued in 2011 to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA.