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    A-B InBev Reaches Final Deal With DOJ

    Brewer will sell off its U.S. stake in Grupo Modelo to Constellation Brands.

    ST. LOUIS -- Anheuser-Busch InBev inked a final agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to acquire the remaining stake of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo it does not already own. A-B InBev already owns more than 50 percent of Grupo Modelo.

    As CSNews Online reported in January, A-B agreed to pay $20.1 billion for the rest of Grupo Modelo, the parent of the Corona brand. However, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued A-B InBev on Jan. 31, citing anticompetitive reasons.

    A-B InBev has since revised its acquisition agreement in an effort to quell DOJ concerns. The linchpin of the just-agreed-upon deal requires A-B InBev to sell its U.S. Grupo Modelo stake to competitor Constellation Brands Inc.

    A-B InBev and the DOJ agreed, in principle, on a deal on April 8.

    "This is a win for the $80 billion U.S. beer market and consumers," Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ's antitrust division, told The Associated Press. "If this settlement makes just a 1-percent difference in prices, U.S. consumers will save almost $1 billion a year."

    As part of the deal, Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation Brands will have not only the licenses to Grupo Modelo brands in the United States, but also the rights to all brewing capabilities, the AP reported.

    A-B InBev, whose U.S. headquarters is located in St. Louis, will retain the rights to all Grupo Modelo brands in every other country.

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