PRAGUE (AP) - The state-owned Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP says an Italian court has banned its bitter rival Anheuser-Busch InBev from using the Budweiser trademark in that country in the latest ruling in their long legal battle over the brand name.
At the same time, Budvar says the Supreme Court allows the Czech brewer to return to the Italian market with its Budweiser Budvar lager in what Budvar director Jiri Bocek calls "a great victory."
The court's ruling means the end of two cases in which AB InBev challenged Budvar's Budweiser trademark in Italy and the right of its importers to use the names of Bud and Budweiser for selling Czech beer.
Budvar has been fighting for over a century with Anheuser-Busch over use of the Budweiser brand.
AB InBev is announcing another purchase today, albeit a smaller one than Wednesday's $20 billion deal for Grupo Modelo.
The mega-brewer is purchasing a group of Ohio distribution companies. The amount of the sale was not disclosed. The deal was on hold for most of the year while Ohio lawmakers debated a bill that would have prevented breweries from directly acquiring distributors.
NEW YORK (AP) - 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.
Constellation will sell Modelo brands including Corona in the U.S., effectively replacing Modelo as a competitor to AB InBev. AB InBev expects that deal to close Friday.
AB InBev, based in Belgium, sells Budweiser, Stella Artois and other beers. The combined company will also sell Corona and other Modelo brands outside the U.S.
The beverage blends Bud Light Lime with the taste of strawberry margarita. Budweiser executives say they tapped into the non-beer drinking market with last summers Lime-a-rita. That brew sold over half a million barrels last year.
The Straw-ber-Rita will be available 8 oz, 16 oz, and 24 oz cans.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Beer lovers across the country have filed $5 million class-action lawsuits accusing Anheuser-Busch InBev 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.
Lead lawyer Josh Boxer of San Francisco said Tuesday the suits are based on information from former employees at some of the company's 13 U.S. breweries. Boxer said water is added just before bottling, and cuts the stated alcohol content by 3 to 8 percent. Robert Mills is one of the plaintiff's class action attorney. "A consumer should be able to go into a store and buy a can of beer, whatever brand they like and if it says on the label that it's six percent alcohol, it should be six percent."
The multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev calls the claims groundless, and says its beers fully comply with labeling