Beer drinkers are ‘victims’ of brewer-based monopolies: report

The Dutch competition authority should ensure beer companies can no longer stop cafe and bar owners from selling beer from their competitors, according to a new report.

By allowing drinkers to choose between different breweries, competition will increase and prices will come down, the report by the economic research institute SEO, says.
Some 75% of the cafe beer market is tied to individual breweries because they impose exclusivity deals on cafe owners in return for loans or because they own the property or its fixtures and fittings, the report says.
But the impact of this on bar owners is more expensive overheads, lower returns on their investment and a high bankruptcy rate.
The SEO report echoes similar comments made by the hospitality industry body Horeca Nederland last summer.
It also called on competition authority NMa to take action against the big beer breweries because the contracts between brewers and cafe owners leave little room for a healthy market.
Each year a quarter of cafe owners think about moving to another brewery but only 2.4% actually take the step, the industry body said.

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