By Andy Young

The US Senate Judiciary Committee has said that next week it will conduct a hearing into AB InBev’s bid to buy its biggest rival, SABMiller.

The subcommittee on anti-trust, competition police and consumer rights will meet to discuss the state of competition in the beer industry and to ensure that “competition remains on tap”.

In October, after months of speculation and negotiation, SABMiller agreed to AB InBev’s US$106 billion buy-out, in what will be one of largest mergers in corporate history. The new company, which will be called Newco, is already considering a number of brand sell-offs in order to gain regulatory approval for the merger. 

TheShout reported on Monday that AB InBev is considering an IPO for Australian-based Carlton and United Breweries, while Molson Coors has agreed to buy SABMiller’s 58 per cent share in their former joint venture MillerCoors.

Conn Carroll, spokesman for Senator Mike Lee, chairman of the subcommittee, said: "The witnesses will be AB InBev chief executive Carlos Brito, Molson Coors CEO Mark Hunter, J. Wilson of the Iowa Brewers Guild and Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute."

In a brief statement the subcommittee said that the hearing will take place on 8 December.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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