AmBev, the division of Anheuser-Busch InBev, may appeal a R$352m (US$185m) fine handed down by Brazil's antitrust authority.

Shares in the brewer and soft drinks producer tumbled after the Brazil regulator, known as CADE, this week imposed the largest fine in its history.

AmBev said it was "surprised" by the fine and the ruling against it, which follows a CADE investigation into allegations that AmBev engaged in illegal selling practices.   

AmBev indicated that it will consider an appeal, but "awaits the issuance of the written decision by CADE in order to evaluate futher action".

AmBev's share price rebounded yesterday (23 July) after several analysts said that the ruling is unlikely to "have a material impact on AmBev's profitability going forward".

CADE investigated claims that AmBev illegally attempted to put in place exclusive distribution deals, used its scale to sell brands 'below cost' and ran campaigns designed to damage the image of competitor brands.

AmBev has a 70% share of the Brazilian beer market, with the other 30% split between Schincariol, Petropolis and Femsa.