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Companies to file suit against Coors Co.

Companies to file suit against Coors Co.

Four beer companies challenged Coors Brewing Co.'s $425 million buyout of Stroh Brewery Co. on antitrust grounds last week, saying they would file a federal lawsuit and seek help from the U.S. Justice Department.

The buyout of most of Stroh's assets would create a megabrewery capable of challenging industry giants, Miller Brewing Co. and Anheuser-Busch, Inc., analysts said.

The merged company would have annual shipments of 32 million to 36 million barrels a year, compared with AB's 79 million and Miller's 40 million.

That is too big to suit Pabst Brewing Co., a national brand, and the regional Falstaff Brewing Co., Pearl Brewing Co. and General Brewing Co., which together ship 7.5 million barrels of beer a year, or about three percent of the market.

Those companies, which are owned by San Francisco-based S&P Cos., said the acquisition would violate the Clayton Act and other federal laws designed to promote competition.

"Two of the big boys are getting together to make a bigger boy," William Bitting, general counsel, S&P Cos., said the acquisition would violate the Clayton Act and other federal laws designed to promote competition.

"Two of the big boys are getting together to make a bigger boy," William Bitting, general counsel, S&P Cos., said from his Los Angeles office. "It's difficult to compete now and it will be damn near impossible to compete if this merger goes through.

"You'll wind up with no secondtier breweries except imports, mom-and-pops, and microbreweries."

Rob Klugman, vice president of development, Coors Brewing Co., declined to make a detailed comment.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 16, 1989
Words:270
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