AB Inbev brewery suspected of abusing its dominant position on Belgian marketThursday, 30 November 2017 19:37
The beer giant’s practices may have violated European Union rules because they reportedly deprived consumers of the advantages of the single market, namely wider choices and lower prices.
According to the Commission, AB InBev modified the packaging of its Jupiler and Leffe beers in the Netherlands and France respectively to make them more difficult to sell in Belgium. For example, it dropped the French text from its cans in the Netherlands and scrapped the Dutch texts in France to prevent them from being sold in Belgium’s Francophone and Dutch-speaking regions respectively.
It also limited Dutch retailers’ access to key Jupiler products and promotions to prevent them from marketing cheaper beers in Belgium.
AB InBev now has the possibility of responding to the concerns expressed by the European Commission in its Statement of Objections, which is a formal stage in the commission’s investigations into presumed breaches of rules on anti-competitive practices.
Companies can consult the documents placed in the Commission’s file, respond in writing and request a hearing to convey their observations on the case to representatives of the Commission and to national competition authorities.
The Brussels Times
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