Distell hauls AB InBev to the Competition Tribunal

It accuses the world's largest brewer of breaching conditions of a 2016 merger with SABMiller.

Listed beverage company Distell has hauled the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, and SABMiller before South Africa’s Competition Tribunal for allegedly breaching conditions for the 2016 merger between the two companies.

The Competition Tribunal conditionally approved the multi-billion dollar merger between AB-InBev and SAB Miller in June 2016. Distell had participated in the hearing at the time and made submissions in relation to conditions that were ultimately imposed on the merger, the Competition Tribunal said in a statement.  
 
Distell recently approached the Competition Commission on the alleged breach of conditions alleging, among others, that the merged entity removed competitors’ advertising material from outlets. The Commission found that the conditions had not been breached.
 
Distell is now asking the Tribunal to review and set aside the Commission’s finding and for a full investigation to be conducted. In the event that the Tribunal does not find that the conditions were breached, Distell is asking that the Tribunal provides guidance on the proper interpretation of the conditions.
 
SAB, meanwhile, argues among others that Distell’s complaint is an attempt to restrict competition and is unrelated to the merger conditions. The company says that the complaints have no merit and should be dismissed.