The Brazilian-based brewer AmBev is to go under investigation for its sales practices.

The country's justice ministry wants to see if the brewer and soft drink producer is breaking competition rules.

The investigation comes following allegations by AmBev rival Schincariol said the market leader's sales agreements were preventing its expansion. It alleges that AmBev has a loyalty programme that obliged retailers to agree to only sell AmBev products and not advertise rival brands.

There are also claims by Schincariol that AmBev has cut the cost of its Antarctica beer to make it a "combat brand" against the smaller rival's main beer, Nova Schin.

However, Ambev says that Antarctica beer was 30%more expensive than Nova Schin and 8.2 percent more expensive than Molson's Brazilian brand Kaiser.

In a statement AmBEv added that: "The company's client incentive programs follow the standards of the international market ... There is no condition of exclusivity - the point of sale is totally free to sell rival products."

AmBev has 15 days to respond to the claims once it had been formally notified of the investigation.