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Pabst may challenge Miller/Molson deal.

Miller Brewing Co.'s preliminary plan to purchase the U.S. distribution rights of Canada's Molson Breweries, may be challenged by another Milwaukee brewer.

Pabst Brewing Co. chairman Lutz Issleib told the Milwaukee Journal that he plans to study the Miller Molson deal to see if it violates anti-trust laws.

Issleib stated he "could care less" about Miller's acquisition of 20 percent of Molson's Canadian brewing operations, but he was concerned about the brewer's purchase of all of Molson U.S.A., Molson's American distribution arm.

"...The distribution rights of Molson's that they acquired for the U.S. we are studying right now to see if they have a problem with antitrust laws," Issleib stated. "I think they do."

If Pabst lawyers conclude that the brewer does have case against Miller, Issleib noted that he would file formal charges.

Miller officials said the deal could withstand challenges.

"We anticipate smooth clearance through both the American and Canadian agencies which would regulate this transaction," noted Miller spokesperson Michael Brophy when aprised of the pending challenge. "We believe we're on solid ground or we wouldn't have pursued the transaction in the first place."
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Title Annotation:Pabst Brewing Co.; Miller Brewing Co. to purchase distribution rights of Molson Breweries of Canada Ltd.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jan 25, 1993
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