WASHINGTON -- Anheuser-Busch InBev is on the verge of an agreement with the Justice Department that would allow its proposed acquisition of Grupo Modelo, the company that brews Corona, to move forward.
Lawyers for DOJ and the international beer conglomerate asked a judge overseeing DOJ's anti-trust lawsuit to extend a stay of the case until April 23 to "finalize the details of a proposed consent judgment" in the case, according to a late Friday court filing.
“As stated in our filing, we have reached an agreement in principle with the parties," Justice Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona said in a statement.
"We have asked the court for a stay through April 23 to allow the parties to finalize the details of the proposed agreement," she said. "As we have said all along, any settlement would have to fully protect U.S. consumers by preserving the competition that Grupo Modelo currently provides, while giving a divestiture buyer the freedom and capability to compete vigorously going forward.”
The Justice Department's January anti-trust lawsuit had alleged that InBev's acquisition of Modelo would "substantially lessen competition in the market for beer in the United States as a whole" and result in consumers "paying more for beer and having fewer new products from which to choose."