Anheuser-Busch InBev silent as EU anti-trust probe heats up

Anheuser-Busch InBev has declined to comment after the European Commission took the next step in an anti-trust battle with the brewer.

On November 30, 2017 EU authorities released a preliminary view in an ongoing investigation that states AB InBev abused its dominant position by hindering cheaper imports of two of its brands into Belgium from neighboring countries. The preliminary view, part of the commission's Statement of Objections in a case that was first launched in June last year, states that AB InBev deliberately tried to prevent wholesalers and retailers from buying Jupiler and Leffe at lower prices in the Netherlands and France and selling them in Belgium.

Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner in charge of competition policy, said the practise would be in breach of EU rules.

Asked to respond, a spokesperson for AB InBev said it "would not be appropriate for us to comment".

The spokesperson said EU's announcement was a "procedural step" and not a final decision on the outcome of the case. "We have been working constructively with the EC since the investigation was announced in June 2016," the spokesperson added.