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A-B InBev hit with record fine in Brazil anti-trust case

Brazil’s antitrust regulator has slapped Brazilian brewer AmBev – Latin America’s biggest brewer and a key division of Anheuser-Busch InBev – with a record $186 million fine for anti-competitive practices that limited rivals’ access to markets.

Bloomberg reports that Brazilian authorities had been “investigating whether AmBev limited competition by supplying retailers with refrigerators that they could only use to store AmBev products.”

A proposal made yesterday to settle the investigation was rejected. From the story:

“Investors may be saying that their outlook for growth may have been too aggressive in terms of volume, since after an event like this the company may not be able to adopt certain practices that would maximize their sales,” said Renato Prado, analyst at Fator Corretora in Sao Paulo, who rates the company “buy.”

AmBev is a very aggressive part of InBev – demanding of its employees and very tough with distributors. In this case, aggression apparently got carried too far.

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Saturday, January 20, 12:52 am

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