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Court says Anheuser is not a beer monopoly.

AP--A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling in favor of Anheuser-Busch Inc. in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Mans family, former owners of an A-B distributorship.

The Maris family, which says the beer company improperly terminated its contract with the family in 1997, has prevailed against the brewing giant in Florida state courts.

The Marises, who had operated the Mans Distributing Co. in the Gainesville-Ocala area for nearly 30 years, have been awarded $72.6 million in their state court lawsuit, including damages and interest.

But a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court ruling that the Maris family had "failed to show actual anticompetitive effects as a result of the public ownership restriction" that the distributor had agreed to as part of its contract with the world's largest brewer.

Mans Distributing Co. had alleged that the world's largest brewer sought to monopolize the distribution market by precluding distributors from becoming publicly owned or traded companies. Maris said the terms of the agreement gave the brewer control over distribution. The district court dismissed the claim, saying the brewer held power over its own contracts, not over its distribution markets.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 2, 2002
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