The German Federal Cartel Office formally approved the Anheuser-Busch Cos. (BUD) - InBev merger on August 20, 2008.
The UK Office of Fair Trading initiated a review for this transaction on August 28, 2008. The OFT has established a public comment period deadline of September 11, 2008. As there is no record of this deal with the European Commission, the OFT will likely be the primary European regulatory approval required. This case is not likely to be referred by the OFT to the EC for review, although this can not be completely ruled out at this time. OFT approval is currently expected in a late-September / early-October time frame.
InBev has scheduled a shareholder meeting associated with this transaction for September 29, 2008.
There continues to be the perception of this publication that the pending HSR second request is essentially a non-issue in terms of the deal being successfully completed. The FTC's interest remains believed to be "procedural" in nature, as opposed to being based in competition concerns. The bottom line here is that no antitrust issues exist in this proposed merger, so HSR clearance will ultimately be obtained without much difficulty or extremely lengthy delays. In a worst-case scenario, the FTC review would continue into December 2008 or January 2009.
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