Anheuser-Busch InBev has completed its $20.1 billion purchase of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.
The world's largest brewer has been trying for almost a year to buy the half of Modelo that it did not already own. The Department of Justice initially blocked the deal, concerned that it would hurt U.S. beer shoppers' choices, but signed off on the combination after AB InBev agreed to sell Modelo's entire U.S. business to a wine maker, Constellation Brands Inc.
The Department of Justice announced on Friday that it has reached an official settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo. The deal will allow AB InBev to proceed with its $20 billion purchase of the Mexican brewer.
AB InBev, has been trying to complete a buyout of Modelo, maker of the popular Corona brand, since last June.
Beer giant Anheuser Busch has reached a deal with the Justice Department that will allow the company to purchase Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.
AB InBev announced last June its plans to purchase the half of Grupo Modelo it did not already own for $20 billion. The federal government filed suit in January, saying the deal would drive up beer prices.
Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: Beer Is At Full Strength, Tests Say
Samples of Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch InBev beers were found to be in line with their advertised alcohol content, according to lab tests conducted at NPR's request. We've rewritten portions of this post to reflect that new information.
Anheuser-Busch is accused of misleading beer drinkers about the alcohol content of Budweiser and other products, in a series of class-action lawsuits filed in federal court.
Beer lovers across the country have filed $5 million class-action lawsuits accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other brands.
The suits were filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states on behalf of consumers allegedly cheated out of the beverage's stated alcohol content. Budweiser and Michelob each boast being 5 percent alcohol, while some "light" versions are said to be just over 4 percent.
The boards of American Airlines and US Airways just approved a merger of the two airlines. But the deal still has to win the approval of antitrust regulators at the Justice Department — regulators who last month sued to stop a merger between the beer giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo, which brews Corona.
The antitrust division has dozens of economists on staff. Their job, essentially, is to figure out whether a merger would reduce competition so much that a company could raise prices without losing business to competitors.