Deal Creates Beer Behemoth
2 biggest brewers plan $104B merger
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2015 3:03 AM CDT
Budweiser beer cans at a concession stand at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.    (Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) – The brewer of Budweiser and Stella Artois has announced an agreement in principle with SABMiller to take over the company and create the world's biggest beer giant. Anheuser-Busch said Tuesday it had increased its offer overnight for the world's second-largest brewer and that both boards "reached agreement in principle on the key terms." Anheuser-Busch has been trying for nearly a month to get its hands on SABMiller but its previous offers have met with resistance.

The $104.2 billion merger of the world's two biggest brewers will create a company that controls almost a third of the world's beer, but it still faces regulatory hurdles, especially in the US, where it would have around 75% of the market, the Wall Street Journal reports. Sources tell Reuters that Anheuser-Busch is already drawing attention from antitrust regulators and the Justice Department for allegedly trying to crush competition from craft beers by buying up distributors and making it harder for the small brewers to get their beer to customers. (Pope Francis was offered Holy Wooder beer when he visited Philadelphia.)