A-B InBev will face scrutiny from the UKs competition authorities over the Modelo deal

A-B InBev will face scrutiny from the UK's competition authorities over the Modelo deal

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is investigating whether Anheuser-Busch InBev's potential buy-out of Grupo Modelo will raise competition issues within the country. 

The authority said yesterday (18 September) that it is considering whether the deal will create a "merger situation" under the UK's Enterprise Act 2002. It is also examining whether "the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom". 

A-B InBev announced in June that it had agreed to buy the 50% of Modelo it does not already own for US$20.1bn. Modelo will sell its 50% stake in US beer import JV Crown Imports to its partner, Constellation Brands, to avoid A-B InBev facing competition issues in the US. 

The OFT is also inviting comment on "any competition or public interest issues" related to the deal. 

Last month it emerged that the US Department of Justice has asked A-B InBev for "additional information" over the proposed transaction

In a statement to just-drinks today, A-B InBev said it still expects the deal to "close during the first quarter of 2013". 

The statement added: "The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in the US, Mexico and other countries – including the UK, as well as other customary closing conditions."