Justice Department Eyes Beer Giants

Accused of crowding out microbrews


Standard Oil was broken up in 1911.  Could the beer industry be next?

A powerful Washington think tank says big beer companies are edging smaller microbreweries out of the market—and antitrust regulators are paying attention.

The D.C.-based New America Foundation is criticizing Anheuser-Busch Inbev, which is seeking to take control of Grupo Modelo, the maker of favorites like Corona and Modelo Especial.  The Justice Department has lately been quizzing industry leaders about a virtual duopoly of the American beer market, with Inbev and its counterpart, Miller Coors, dominating the U.S. beerscape.

In a new report, the think tank argues for stronger state and local controls, all with an eye toward boosting the panoply of American microbrews.