Greek brewer hits out over Carlsberg merger move
Greek brewer Macedonian Thrace has raised concerns over the future of the country's beer market after the recent merger of Carlsberg-owned Mythos Brewery and Olympic Brewery.
The move, which creates Greece's second-largest beer firm, has been approved by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), following initial news of the deal in November. Macedonian Thrace, which describes itself as a "wholly Greek-owned brewery", flagged that around 85% of Greece's beer market will now be controlled by two "foreign multi-nationals" - Carlsberg and Heineken, which owns the market leader, Athenian Brewery.
The Greek brewer claimed that the firms will "dominate the market to the detriment of locally-owned breweries or new entrants".
Macedonian Thrace added: "The HCC's decision, which placed no restrictions on the merger, is a concern for the Greek economy and consumers alike ... . The HCC has saddled the Greek consumer with the prospect of continuing high prices and less choice."
However, in response, Carlsberg said in a statement: "The merger between Mythos and Olympic Breweries met all HCC requirements. We believe the merger ensures the long-term future of these two respected Greek breweries which produce local products and employ local people. Together the combined breweries have about a 29% share of the Greek market."
Heineken has yet to respond to a request for comment.
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