House bans brewers from owning distributors

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The state House of Representatives has approved a bill that would force Anheuser-Busch to sell two Kentucky companies that distribute alcohol in Jefferson and Daviess counties.

The House voted 67-31 to approve a bill that would not allow brewers to own distributors. The bill was championed by smaller breweries who worried Anheuser-Busch would only market its own products.

Anheuser-Busch has owned a Louisville distributor since 1978. Last year, the company purchased another distributor in Owensboro, which prompted the bill. An effort to exempt the two distributors Anheuser-Busch already owns failed in a close vote.

Anheuser-Busch Director of Sales and Marketing Damon Williams said the vote violated the company’s property rights and upended a successful beer distribution system. He vowed to continue to fight the legislation in the state Senate.

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