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Clayton Act Action Concerning Merger
In Ginsburg v. InBev NV/SA, No. 09-2990, an action by beer consumers suing to enjoin the now-consummated acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. by InBev NV/SA on the ground that the transaction violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act, the court affirmed judgment on the pleadings for defendant where any antitrust injury plaintiffs could prove would be both speculative and localized, and the hardship and competitive disadvantage resulting from forced divestiture would be both dramatic and certain.
As the court wrote: "Plaintiffs are Missouri beer consumers suing to enjoin the now-consummated acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. ("A-B"), by InBev NV/SA ("InBev") on the ground that the transaction violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18. Relying on the potential competition theories of § 7 liability, Plaintiffs allege that the merger threatens to reduce competition and increase beer prices in the United States because it eliminates InBev, the largest brewer and seller of imported beers, as an actual and a perceived potential competitor in the U.S. market."
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