AB said the settlement over Shock Top resolved the issue

AB said the settlement over Shock Top resolved the issue

Anheuser-Busch is to pay US$300,000 to settle a dispute with US regulators over a wholesaler buy-back programme on its Shock Top brand.

The US unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev said the settlement was made in "the spirit of partnership" with the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and that it now considers the matter closed. "Our belief and understanding was that this programme was in full compliance," said Felipe Szpigel, president of AB's High End beer unit. "However, after many discussions with the TTB, we've decided to move forward in the spirit of partnership and settle the matter."

The allegations stem from a buy-back programme for Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale last year. The TTB alleged that the programme violated laws that stop industry members selling alcoholic beverages with the privilege of return.

AB said that the deal with the TTB "resolves any and all alleged violations of our wholesalers with respect to this programme".

AB has this year ramped up support for Shock Top, a Belgian-style wheat ale. For the first time, the brand was handed a coveted Super Bowl ad slot for last month's showpiece NFL season-ender.