Booze war quietly escalates in Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo.-Leading rum maker Brugal on Monday confirmed having been consulted for a NationalCompetitiveness Commission (CNDC) study on the impact on the domestic market ofalcoholic beverages after AmBev acquired the Dominican Nacional Brewery (CND).
It said theregulator’s study "contain the same concerns" which Brugal has been communicatingin writing to the CND for more than two years "on their practices in themarket after its merger with AmBev."
The Breweryincurred in anticompetitive practices affecting the rum market in the country,according to the study. "It was verified that customers are pressured toreduce the marketing presence of Brugal rum and increase Barceló, which isdistributed by the brewery."
"It hasbeen noted that AmBev-CND pressed customers to withdraw all advertisingmaterial that had been placed in the businesses by the company Brugal. Thosewho wouldn’t abide by this request, would see the discount they receive whenbuying beer withdrawn, or the supply of that product would discontinue."
It says AmBev-CNDprovides tents, stages, freezer and discounts on the purchase of Presidentebeer or Barceló rum in exchange for pulling the ads of Brugal rum. It adds thatcustomers who wanted Presidente beer had to buy Barceló rum.
“Brugal believesin free and fair competition as an essential part of the institutionaldevelopment of the country, and that a law guaranteeing free and faircompetition should be part of institutional strengthening,” the leading rummaker said in the statement.