Budweiser is in a fight in Chitown. It’s all over a percentage of ownership of a distributor. Bud’s parent company, AB-InBev wants to retain 30% stake in City Beverage. That’s considered illegal, thanks to the state of Illinois “craft beer law.” That could get the wholesaler license revoked. You might say – so what? This is Bud’s attempt to to gain more control over beer sales in Chicago, in a Miller Coors market. The move could diminish the variety of beers that come through the distributor, leaving less variety to sell in stores and bars.
There’s a business practice question in play here. If a brewery exerts that kind of control over a distributor, it pushes out competing varieties from other breweries. A real issue in a world where breweries have to use distributors. [ChiSunTimes]