Molson and Miller Taking Canadian Distribution Dispute to Court

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TORONTO, ON – The Globe & Mail reports that Molson Coors Canada and SABMiller will be taking a dispute over brand distribution rights to trial after attempts at an out-of-court settlement failed.

As first reported in early 2013, SABMiller had planned to terminate a long-standing agreement with Molson Coors that allowed the latter company to brew and distribute brands including Miller Genuine Draft and Milwaukee’s Best in Canada. Molson Coors responded by requesting and receiving a temporary injunction to keep the agreement in effect until a full trial could take place to decide if SABMiller had the legal right to break the deal.

The trial was set for December, but was delayed while the companies attempted to reach an agreement. However, those talks recently collapsed, and both companies issued statements yesterday saying: “The parties have been engaged in settlement discussions but have been unable to reach a settlement at this time. Therefore, we are asking the court to schedule a trial date for the matter to be heard.”

While the companies are embroiled in this legal battle in Canada, they remain close partners in the United States, where their American branches operate under the MillerCoors joint venture in order to better compete with Anheuser-Busch InBev.

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