Anheuser-Busch said Wednesday that a lawsuit filed by 10 beer drinkers in an attempt to block InBev’s $52 billion takeover of A-B lacks merit, the St. Louis Business Journal reported.
“We believe that the claims alleged in the lawsuit are without merit and we intend to vigorously defend against them,” Gary Rutledge, vice president of legal and government affairs, said in a statement.
Joseph Alioto, a prominent San Francisco antitrust lawyer, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in a federal court in St. Louis on behalf of 10 Missouri beer drinkers, alleging that the takeover hurts consumers with higher prices and smaller selections, the business journal reported.
The beer market is “plainly a market ripe for probable if not certain collusion and a galloping tendency toward monopoly,” the lawsuit says. “If InBev is allowed to purchase Anheuser-Busch, there no longer would be any significant major potential competitor to influence pricing and marketing practices in the United States anywhere near the degree to which InBev, as the largest brewer in the world, is able to do.”
This past summer A-B accepted a $52 billion takeover offer from Belgian InBev, which effectively creates the world’s largest brewer.