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Craft Brewers Raise Red Flag Over SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch Merger

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, now, if you have ever had trouble deciding between a Bud Light and a Miller Light, know that it soon may matter less. The money might be going to the same place. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser, announced plans yesterday to buy its biggest rival, SABMiller. The two brewers would combine to control about half the U.S. beer market. Not great news for the little guys like those who have been part of the booming American craft beer industry. Nikos Ridge runs Ninkasi, a microbrewery in Oregon. He says brewers like his could end up getting muscled out.

NIKOS RIDGE: We're happy to compete on quality of product, on customer engagement, on value. But it's just really hard for us to compete just in terms of market power.

GREENE: Now, critics say beer drinkers could also face higher prices and fewer choices. Shareholders and regulators still do need to approve this deal, so the king of beers might want to hold off on that giant keg party. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.