AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Anheuser-Busch InBev has reached a final agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that could settle a dispute over its $20.1 billion acquisition of the Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.The world’s largest brewer has been trying since June to buy the half of Grupo Modelo that it doesn’t already own. The Justice Department sued to block the deal out of concern that a company that massive would stifle competition in the U.S.The companies involved in a complicated series of deals surrounding the acquisition have negotiated for months with Justice officials to try and clear the way. They submitted an agreement Friday to the court and if approved, it is expected to close in June.AB InBev originally sought to get access to all of Modelo’s business U.S. and abroad. But in an effort to appease regulators that blocked the deal, AB InBev later struck a side deal that gives control of the production of Corona and other Modelo beers sold in the U.S. to a competitor, Constellation Brands Inc.The agreement announced Friday is similar to the modified deal, but instead requires the sale of Modelo’s entire U.S. business to Constellation.That would give Constellation not just the licenses of Modelo brand beers in the U.S., but also brewing capabilities so that it is not relying on AB InBev at all. The agreement also requires the sale of AB InBev’s stake in a joint venture agreement and other assets, rights and interests so that Constellation can compete in the U.S. beer market independent of AB InBev.“This is a win for the $80 billion U.S. beer market and consumers,” said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s antitrust division. “If this settlement makes just a one per cent difference in prices, U.S. consumers will save almost $1 billion a year.”Baer said the deal as originally presented was potentially transformative in a bad way for consumers, but this agreement creates an independent owner of Modelo brands in the U.S. that will be positioned to provide consumers with more brands at competitive prices.Constellation will effectively replace Modelo as a competitor in the U.S. selling its Corona and other brands domestically.The company, based in Victor, N.Y., expects the deal will double its sales and solidify its place in the U.S. beer market.The settlement also will benefit AB InBev, based in Belgium, which will still add Modelo brands globally to its already expansive portfolio of beers that includes Budweiser, Stella Artois and others.The beer industry has always been fiercely competitive, but brewers have come under incredible pressure since the global downturn.Unemployment hit young men more than other populations and that took a toll on sales, as they represent beer maker’s key market.Domestic beer production, a key indicator of market activity, increased 1 per cent in 2012 after falling for three straight years, according to industry group the Beer Institute. Production hit nearly 194 billion barrels in 2012 but that is still down more than 4 per cent from 198.4 billion barrels produced in 2007.Anheuser-Busch earlier this year said profits fell nearly 5 per cent in the final quarter of 2012, and it forecast weak first-quarter sales for this year. The company posts results for the current quarter at the end of the month.Shares of AB InBev increased $1.27 to $98.84 by early afternoon. Constellation Brands shares increased 86 cents, nearly 2 per cent, to $48.20. by Sarah Skidmore, The Associated Press Posted Apr 19, 2013 11:16 am MDT Anheuser-Busch InBev, DOJ and other beer makers reach deal on Modelo acquisition
A plastic bottle deposit scheme must be introduced despite objections from newsagents and corner shops, MPs have said.The Environmental Audit Committee said that up to 20p should be placed on the cost of plastic bottled drinks, which would be returned when customers brought back their waste.In a new report, the committee warned that only 7.5 billion of the 13 billion plastic bottles used in the UK each year are recycled, while the rest end up in landfill, are littered or incinerated.But MPs said that a return scheme could boost recycling rates to 90 per cent.However shopkeepers said they were concerned that bulky deposit machines would take up retail space and that returned bottles may be unhygienic. The report was welcomed by conservationists and charities. Plastic drinks bottles, along with caps, lids and other plastic on-the-go drink and food waste items, consistently feature in the top ten of litter types strewn on UK beaches, and account for up to 20 per cent of all rubbish found in Marine Conservation Society beach cleans and surveys.Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society, says “We wholeheartedly support the findings of the Committee. UK consumers use 13 billion plastic bottles each year.“These are generally used just once and thrown away – a deposit return system, coupled with increasing access to free drinking water, and an effective system to discourage waste and encourage good packaging designs, would reduce this growing plastic tide.” Will McCallum, Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, added: “The EAC have understood that plastic pollution is a crisis which could be about to get quite a lot worse, and that we’re going to need to do a bit more than just build a couple more recycling plants to get out of the whole we’ve dug ourselves.“It’s brilliant to see their recommendation for a Deposit Return Scheme as the immediate response to the flood of plastic bottles, and extending that thinking to other recommendations focused on reduction and moving the burden of paying for plastic waste from the taxpayer to the manufacturer.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) calculated that the average small store would need to deal with 180 drinks containers each day, and lose £62,000 in lost floor space.James Lowman, of the ACS said: “In our sector there would be significant costs to our small stores in terms of the proportion of space taken up by a reverse vending solution and manual returns.“Every member I speak to says the idea of taking back dirty containers over a counter where you are selling food is just not feasible.” Plastic waste is increasingly finding its way into nature Credit:Kajsa Sjšlander/Greenpeace However committee members said the rising tide of plastic waste was a major concern which must be tackled. Most Britons will use 150 plastic water bottles each year, while Londoners get through 175 bottles and some 700,000 bottles are littered each day in the UK.As well as a deposit return scheme, MPs are also calling for all public premises which serve food or drink including leisure and sports centres should be required to provide free drinking water on request, and public water fountains should be more widespread. Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Urgent action is needed to protect our environment from the devastating effects of marine plastic pollution which, if it continues to rise at current rates, will outweigh fish by 2050.“Our throwaway society uses 13 billion plastic bottles each year, around half of which are not recycled. Plastic bottles make up a third of all plastic pollution in the sea, and are a growing litter problem on UK beaches. “We need action at individual, council, regional and national levels to turn back the plastic tide.”The Scottish government has already announced plans to introduce a deposit return scheme and Department of Environment is currently consulting on a similar UK-wide project. Plastic waste now accounts for 20 per cent of beach rubbishCredit:Surfers Against Sewage In the new report, MPs also called for companies to be made financially responsible for the plastic packaging they produce.Producers currently only pay for 10 per cent of the cost of packaging disposal and recycling, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for the other 90 per cent, evidence submitted to the MPs showed.The Government should also bring in rules for 50 per cent recycled plastic content in plastic bottles to be achieved by 2023 at the latest, they urged.