MADRID – Anheuser-Busch InBev has been fined 200 million euros ($224.6 million) by the European Commission for breaking antitrust rules in the European Union.
The commission said AB InBev had abused its dominant position in the Belgian beer market by hindering cheaper imports of its Jupiler beer from the Netherlands into Belgium.
AB InBev’s Jupiler beer represents 40 percent of the total Belgian beer market in terms of sales volume.
The commission said AB InBev sells Jupiler to retailers and wholesalers at lower prices in the Netherlands than in Belgium due to increased competition.
The beer brewing company abused its position by pursuing a deliberate strategy to restrict the possibility for supermarkets and wholesalers to buy Jupiler at lower prices in the Netherlands and import it into Belgium, the commission said.
Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “Attempts by dominant companies to carve up the single market to maintain high prices are illegal. Therefore we have fined AB InBev €200 million for breaching our antitrust rules.”