Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, March 22, 2013

Budweiser, Corona Sued in San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

You've been served
  • You've been served

This suit's for you

Friday is a good day for beer and, today, it's a great one for lawsuits regarding beer.

Attorney Joe Alioto tells SF Weekly that, this afternoon, he'll make a federal case out of a proposed multi-billion dollar deal to merge two of the world's yellowest beers, Budweiser and Corona.

At issue is a controversial $20.1 billion offer from Belgian-owned Anheuser-Busch InBev to purchase Mexican beer giant Grupo Modelo, which produces Corona. That proposal spurred a January lawsuit from the Department of Justice -- but the beer barons are tinkering with the deal in order to win the feds' approval. Alioto, however, says there can be only one solution: "The government simply says you don't get to buy Modelo, period. Go back to Brussels."

click to enlarge Coming next: An antitrust suit to prvent Kenny Chesney from merging with Blake Shelton
  • Coming next: An antitrust suit to prvent Kenny Chesney from merging with Blake Shelton
Coming next: An antitrust suit to prvent Kenny Chesney from merging with Blake Shelton
Messages for Grupo Modelo and Anheuser-Busch InBev have not yet been returned. Somewhat amusingly, the latter directs journalists on deadline to phone its toll-free number, 1-800-DIAL-BUD.

Alioto's suit is being brought on behalf of nine plaintiffs he describes as "ordinary people" and "consumers": Steven Edstrom, Barry Ginsburg, Martin Ginsburg, Edward Lawrence, Sharon Martin, Mark M. Naeger, John Nypl, Daniel Sayle, and William Stage. He claims their legal costs will be borne by the defendants if they prevail and they'll owe him nothing if they fail.

The attorney -- and son of the former mayor -- notes that, at present, AB-InBev owns just shy of 50 percent of the domestic beer market and British-owned MillerCoors has about 30 percent. Gobbling up Modelo would give AB-InBev around 55 percent of the domestic market. More importantly, claims Alioto, it would allow AB-InBev and MillerCoors to jack up prices while diluting quality.

"Modelo has refused to go along with the price increases these guys have steadily done since InBev bought Anheuser-Busch," says the attorney. "As a result, they have to eliminate Modelo to keep raising prices at will."

Alioto says he'll file the suit by 2 p.m. today at San Francisco's federal courthouse. And, after that -- perhaps a drink?

Update: Read the suit here -- Beer lawsuit.rtf

  • Pin It

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"