US: Anheuser-Busch InBev speaks out over distributor lawsuit
ABI said it is reviewing the lawsuit
Anheuser-Busch InBev has defended its position after being hit with a lawsuit by a New York distributor.
McCraith Beverages, the supplier of Beck's and Bass in New York, claims that the brewer broke the state's alcohol control laws by assigning the distribution of brand extensions Bass IPA and Beck's Sapphire to a rival company, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported. In the lawsuit, filed last week, McCraith alleges that, as distributor of the parent brands, "its competitors are unfairly profiting from the goodwill established by McCraith".
Its damages are at least an estimated US$240,000, the company alleges.
In response, A-B InBev said it believes the law supports its decision to grant the new brand rights to its "equity" wholesalers, as well as current wholesalers.
The brewer added: "We recently received this lawsuit and are reviewing it."
Last month, A-B InBev confirmed it has agreed to sell its stake in its largest US distributor, Chicago's City Beverage.
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