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百威英博啤酒「釀」成風波,遭控蓄意干涉比利時啤酒市場 Trouble brewing: AB InBev accused of keeping cheap beer from Belgians

Original English Source: The Guardian 11/30/2017

本週四發佈的一項聲明,讓比利時人聽了都激動起來。

歐盟委員會表示,比利時的消費者可能多年來,都花了過多冤枉錢在最受歡迎的兩種啤酒上。

全球最大的啤酒釀造商百威英博(AB InBev),遭布魯塞爾(歐盟總部)指控濫用其在比利時的主導地位,將旗下兩款熱銷品牌 – Jupiler 和 Leffe – 的比利時售價,定得比荷蘭和法國還要高。

這消息對任何一個國家的愛酒人士來說,都會是種打擊。然而對比利時,這個多種族、有三種官方語言的國家來說,啤酒是少數一種可不分族群、共同分享的文化興趣。因此,這樣的裁決尤其令人不安。

歐盟執行委員會競爭事務執委維斯塔哲(Margrethe Vestager),在周四的一份聲明說道:「比利時的消費者,可能過去在這兩款熱銷啤酒上,付了過多的錢。」

「我們初步的調查結果是,百威英博可能故意阻擾了法國和荷蘭向比利時出口價格低廉的啤酒。這樣做違反了歐盟市場競爭原則,因為這剝奪了消費者享有歐盟作為單一市場的福利 — 也就是有選擇權和較低價格。」

經過長達一年的調查,歐盟委員會認為百威英博至少有八年的時間,「蓄意」阻擾比利時的超市和啤酒批發商,向荷蘭和法國買入價格低廉的Jupiler和Leffe啤酒來銷售於比利時市場。

其中一個手法,是在荷蘭和法國銷售的啤酒罐包裝上動了手腳,使其不易在比利時市場銷售。

據調查,該公司在荷蘭銷售的啤酒瓶上,拿掉法文的說明字眼,並在法國的啤酒瓶上刪掉荷蘭語說明文字,以防止這兩地的便宜啤酒得以在比利時的法語和荷蘭語區銷售。

另一個相關指控為,該公司限制了荷蘭零售商,不讓他們有接觸主要商品和促銷活動的管道,以防止他們引進更便宜的啤酒於比利時市場。

百威英博總部設於比利時魯汶,每年營業額高達388億英鎊。去年,它與南非米勒啤酒集團(SAB Miller)完成了價值765億英鎊的併購交易。

百威英博公司發言人表示,對於相關投訴,該公司一直與歐盟委員會合作接受調查,並宣稱誠信是公司的核心原則。

「對於歐盟委員會對本公司指控不當操控比利時啤酒市場所發出的異議聲明(Statement of Objections),本公司現在無法做進一步的評論。然而,本公司自2016年6月開始,就一直與歐盟單位密切配合,協助相關調查。」

「歐盟委員會在星期四的言論,只是程序上的步驟。異議聲明的發佈不是對案件結果的最終決定。作為一個跨國企業,我們非常重視相關規定的遵守。」

財經新聞翻譯 News Translation

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