AB InBev has been fined over USD 225 million by the European Commission due to the company deliberately restricting cross border sales of its popular Jupiler beer between the Netherlands and Belgium.
Jupiler is the companies most popular beer brand in Belgium and represents 40 percent of the total Belgium beer market in terms of sales volume. AB InBev also sells this beer in other countries like the Netherlands. However, the beer is sold at a higher price in Belgium than it is in the Netherlands due to increased competition in the latter.
The EU Commission argues that AB InBev purposely restricted the supermarkets and wholesalers from purchasing the beer in the Netherlands for a cheaper price and importing it into Belgium. Thus keeping the price of Jupiler higher in Belgium.
Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner in charge of the case states that “Consumers in Belgium have been paying more for their favourite beer because of AB InBev’s deliberate strategy to restrict cross border sales between the Netherlands and Belgium.”