I have to admit that I care not a whit for the impending kerglomeration of much of the macro-tastic brewing power of the United States of America into the tentacles of two international macro-economic monoliths. It's so surreal that it's a bit like when two evil forces (say, Doctor Doom and the Red Skull...or Doc Oc if you are more into that) get together in the Marvel universe: you know the doom (a) is impending yet (b) its downfall will be triggered by their own folly. Others, like the Wall Street Journal are more sanguine, at least in relation to the prospects of the A-B meets InBev deal not being stopped under anti-trust law:
...antitrust concerns look like a fig leaf–and a pretty small one at that–covering the politicians’ play for populism in the case of Anheuser-Busch. In 2007, Anheuser’s U.S. market share, in terms of barrels of beer shipped, was 48.2%, according to industry newsletter Beer Marketer’s Insights. That includes European beers produced by InBev and imported by Anheuser under a deal that began in early 2007. The U.S. market share of Labatt USA, a unit of InBev that sells Canadian beer Labatt Blue, was only 0.7%. That would mean Anheuser and InBev have combined market share of nearly 50% in the U.S.In this case, I think the Marvel Universe is not maybe the right analogy. Thor isn't bombing down from Asgard to save us all and no one's Spidey-sense has tingled over this stuff for decades. It's more of the same old same old: congloming. That would be a good name for the new firm ConGlom. They could make Conglom Lite.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department just gave approval to the combination of the nation’s second- and third-largest brewers, Miller Brewing and Coors Brewing, which will create the nation’s No. 2, with about 30% market share. With the Justice Department having allowed for about 80% of the U.S. beer business to be concentrated in the hands of two companies, analysts are skeptical that antitrust enforcers would raise questions about InBev-Anheuser having an extra point of market share between them.
Maybe the better analogy is that grey goo blob that was supposed to take over the world in Bob Joy's 2000 future fear-mongery of the Web 1.0 era entitled "Why the Future Does Not Need Us" in which nanotechnology, bio-tech and common place massive computing power combine to create a planet-wide disaster of unspeakable proportions. ConGlom doesn't really need us either. Yet, just as the internet created only the banality of Facebook instead of a powerful mindless force that destroys all like, so too will these end times of brewing mega mergers only create more desire for less aftertaste via a fluid suspiciously like third-category beverage-like substance. Call it ConGlom Dry Lite.
After all, four out of five can't be wrong.