Headlines

Beverage World presents the latest news from across the worldwide beverage market.

Fair Trade Office Halts Britvic-AG Barr Merger

Soft drinks giant Britvic's proposed merger with the producer of Irn Bru has been halted by the government's watchdog for fair competition. Shareholders at Britvic and AG Barr had agreed to join forces from Jan.30. But the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has delayed the merger while it probes the deal, which it says could result in a "substantial lessening of competition." (This Is Total Essex)

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Sunday Sales Bill Introduced in Texas

A state lawmaker from Houston is reviving an effort to revoke a "blue law" that keeps liquor stores closed on Sundays. Under the current law, liquor stores may operate from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Houston Chronicle)

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Diageo Partners with Sundance Channel

Sundance Channel and Diageo have partnered on a multi-platform, multi-brand sponsorship deal and production project to be launched at the upcoming 2013 Sundance Film Festival. With a variety of activities and a major presence, Diageo’s Captain Morgan, Ciroc and Bulleit Bourbon brands will come to life at Sundance Channel’s headquarters on Main Street in Park City, Utah during the festival. (Daily Markets)

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Carlsberg Sponsors U.K.'s Premier League

Carlsberg has agreed a three-year deal to become the official beer partner of the Barclays Premier League until the end of the 2015/16 season, reports SportsPro. According to an official press release, the partnership entitles the Danish company to a host of rights, including the ‘use of official designations; marks and imagery; match-day access and hospitality; and content for online and social media channels,’ from the start of the 2013/14 campaign. (Tribalfootball.com)

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Retailers Oppose Beer Tax Increase in N.H.

Two New Hampshire state reps have filed a bill that would hike the wholesale beer tax from 30 to 40 cents per gallon. The move would raise an estimated $4.3 million for prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse. Some warn the price advantage New Hampshire grocers enjoy over those in neighboring Massachusetts could be wiped out if the proposed 33 percent increase in the wholesale beer tax is approved. (Lowell Sun)

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Founders Brewing Partners with Bike Race

Founders Brewing Co. will partner with Kisscross Events once again to host the annual Barry-Roubaix bicycle race, an event pitting thousands of bikers against gravel, rocks, sand and mud, and possible snow and ice in a kickoff to the racing season in Michigan. The fifth annual Barry-Roubaix, named after the classic Paris-Roubaix race in France, will begin and end in Hastings, Mich., on March 23.

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