LONDON (Brand Republic) - A diplomatic row is set to break following an attack by the Belgian government on the UK’s ruling to block Interbrew’s £2.3bn takeover of Bass Brewers.
The UK’s Competition Commission’s decision was “prejudicial” and blocked the expansion of a Belgian company while favouring UK firm Scottish & Newcastle, according to Charles Picque, Belgium’s economics minister. He has raised the issue with EC competition commissioner Mario Monti.
A spokesman for trade secretary Stephen Buyers hit back, saying a merger of Bass with Interbrew would reduce competition.
The decision has sent Interbrew’s share price down 27%.