CAMRA concerned over Marstons & Carlsberg JV

Following the news that the CMA has given the go-ahead to the proposed merger between Marston's and Carlsberg, CAMRA has made comment.

National Chairman, Nik Antona said, 'We are increasingly concerned with the dominance of global brewing brands in the UK beer market and the impact this has on consumer choice. This Joint Venture is the latest in a series of merger and acquisition activity which has seen many styles and brands disappear since the early 2000s.'

Antona continued, While we have seen an increase in the number of small brewers producing some great and varied beers, these brewers account for less than 6% of the total market and are therefore unable to provide effective competition.

'Many of these smaller brands cannot access the pub market due to the dominance of supply and distribution agreements operated by pub companies and global suppliers.

'In addition, two small brewers are now closing every week due to ongoing restrictions on the sector and a lack of proper support package. On top of this, the Government is planning changes to Small Brewers Relief that will increase the amount of tax some small brewers pay.'

Antona concluded, ''We are grateful to the CMA for engaging with us and listening to our concerns about the Joint Venture and will continue to raise our concerns about competition issues in the sector with them. We believe that the UK beer market needs constant monitoring by the competition authorities.'