I am indebted to the Morning Advertiser for this:
JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has written to the Competition Commission objecting to Heineken’s takeover of Scottish & Newcastle. Martin argues that the move will see a serious reduction in competition and that he is worried by Heineken’s “attitude to price”. He complains that Heineken has refused to supply Amstel to his company because Wetherspoon wanted to sell it for £1.99 a pint. Martin says in his submission to the Competition Commission: “The number of brewers from whom publicans buy recognised and attractive lager products has dropped dramatically in recent years as the number of major brewers has contracted through takeovers.
“At the current time, in choosing a portfolio of lagers the main brewers from which publicans can choose are Scottish & Newcastle, Coors, Carlsberg and Heineken. “Although the first three companies have by far the biggest volumes in the
Martin claims that a main motive for the Heineken takeover of S&N is to reduce the level of competition in the market and to push up prices to the licensed trade and, ultimately, to consumers.
“Heineken and Scottish & Newcastle, as separate companies, provide clear and distinct alternative sources of supply for publicans in
Well what about that then? Timbo is undoubtedly right, but is he the right guy to say it?