It is official, Anheuser-Busch and InBev and are merging into, wait for it, Anheuser-Busch InBev, making them the largest brewing company in the world, and one of the top five largest consumer products companies in the world. I suspect it is Anheuser-Busch’s control of the “Chelada” brand that tipped the scales of this merger into a capitalistic orgasm. Now the new super company will control over 100 brands including Budweiser, Michelob, Bass, Beck’s, Grolsch, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Rolling Rock, Busch, Bacardi Ice, and my personal favorite, Hurricane Ice Malt Liquor.
The two companies had theoretical combined revenues of 36.4 billion in 2007…that is an incredible amount of money. What does all this mean? It means that Anheuser Busch will dominate the American beer market even more ridiculously than before, when they enjoyed a 48.5% share of U.S. beer sales. It means a boost for the controversial three-tiered distribution system in America, a system that Anheuser-Busch relies on and supports, but doesn’t necessarily benefit the beverage industry as a whole as it limits smaller companies’ options regarding getting their products to customers, as selling direct yields greater control and profit margins, and smaller producers often struggle finding distributor representation.
It means that the mega corporations of the world are one step closer to merging into one big incestual super corporation, just like in Rollerball or 1984. I mean, how many billions of dollars does a company need to make to feel successful? These are things a simple mind such as my own will probably never understand, but I guess I can take solace in the fact that my name isn’t August Busch IV, which is, according to all of my friends, probably the worst name ever.