NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Report stock is rising 1.54% to $126.77 in early morning trading on Wednesday as reports suggested that U.S. antitrust regulators are investigating the brewing company over its deals with independent distributors.
The Belgium-based company is allegedly pushing independent distributors to sell its beers over craft beers by providing incentives, sources told Reuters.
Last year, craft brewers submitted complaints about AB InBev's plans to acquire five distributors in the U.S., deals that have since closed.
Antitrust officials are now reviewing the company's relationship with distributors as part of the regulatory review of AB InBev's planned $100 billion acquisition of SABMiller (SBMRY).
AB InBev refunds 75% of the sales generated by its own brands if the beers account for up to 98% of the distributor's sales as part of the incentive program, Reuters added.
The incentive is not enough to offset sales from craft beers, which are rapidly rising, but it does suppress craft beer sales, Reuters noted.