Carlsberg/Marston’s merger

CAMRA has welcomed a decision by the Competition and Markets Authority to launch a Phase 1 investigation into the proposed joint venture beer company between Carlsberg and Marston’s.

CAMRA chief executive Tom Stainer said: “We will now be asking the CMA to move to a full investigation, given our serious concerns about anti-competitive effects of the joint venture, including market foreclosure for small brewers, which will reduce choice for beer drinkers and pub–goers. This is why the CMA must make sure that any merger does not stifle fair competition, access to market for brewers, and ensure decent consumer choice of beer in pubs up and down the country.”

CAMRA’s calculations show that the UK beer and pub market is becoming less and less competitive with every new merger or acquisition of a smaller brewer by a global brand. Global brewers currently have a 25.25% share of UK pub companies, which by CAMRA’s calculations will rise to nearly 32% if the proposed joint venture is allowed to proceed without intervention.

“Since the day that it was announced, CAMRA has raised serious concerns about the proposed Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company and choice for beer drinkers, pub goers – and over the future of British beers, brands and breweries,” added Tom.