Sunday, June 29, 2008

Budweiser no longer American?

Over at Slate, Daniel Gross writes about the possible purchase of Anheuser-Busch by Brazillian-Belgian InBev, a "behemoth" created by the merger of the Brazillian AmBev and the Belgian Interbrew. What's largely a very commonplace sort of business deal in our globalized marketplace has been met with populist opposition on the part of politicians:

Anheuser-Busch's board and chief executive officer, August A. Busch IV, who represents the sixth generation of his family to run the brewer, dismissed the unwelcome offer as inadequate. Bud partisans, especially in and around St. Louis, have reacted with even more vigor. Both of Missouri's senators, Republican Kit Bond and Democrat Claire McCaskill, oppose the deal. McCaskill says it is "patriotic" to do so. In a letter to Anheuser-Busch's board, he writes: "[D]o not hesitate to contact me to discuss ways that I and community leaders can work with you to improve the company without changing its ownership."

There was similar backlash among some when Toyota topped GM as the world's top auto-maker and of course the 2006 Dubai ports deal, and Anheuser-Busch is unlikely to be the last American company to be affected by globalization.

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