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EUROPE: Comment - Interbrew: beers all round

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The EU has approved Interbrew's acquisition of Beck's, deciding there are no competitive concerns. It's good news for Interbrew, which really didn't need a repeat of the Bass debacle. While the EU was concerned that Interbrew would own the top two premium beer brands in the UK, an unspecified amendment to the licensing agreement with S&N has placated the regulator. Now Interbrew is free to enjoy the benefits of a well-timed acquisition. Interbrew can breathe a sigh of relief. After a year of regulatory uncertainty concerning its Bass acquisition, it looked like the same thing was going to happen all over again. The Belgian beer giant's ambitious expansion plans are under constant review, but this time the EU is letting them through without a hitch.


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