The symbol for AB InBev appears at the post where it trades, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015.  The world's top two beer makers agreed Tuesday to join forces to create a company that would control nearly a third of the global market and bring together top U.S. brands Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft.

The symbol for AB InBev appears at the post where it trades, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. The world's top two beer makers agreed Tuesday to join forces to create a company that would control nearly a third of the global market and bring together top U.S. brands Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft.

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Beverage giant AB InBev has made some not-so-subtle jabs at the craft brewing industry this year, as tastes have been turning from big to artisan brands. But a new report alleges the company is purposefully trying to stifle the industry's growth.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Justice Department is investigating claims AB InBev is attempting to curb competition by buying beer distributors, and allegations go as far to say it "pushes some independent distributors to only carry the company's products and end their ties with the craft industry."

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The story ran Monday, just one day before AB InBev struck a deal to buy SABMiller for $104.2 billion, which, if approved, would make it world's largest beermaker with nine of the world's top 20 beers by volume, according to CNN Money.

AB InBev has also been buying craft breweries to put under its umbrella, but the distributor issue arises from brewers not part of the Anheuser-Busch family who say sales stall or decline after an acquisition. 

"Our feeling was that we weren't getting the same level of representation," Nikos Ridge, CEO of Ninksi Brewing Co. in Oregon, told Reuters. "We saw our trends drop and we have seen improvements since we've switched."

AB InBev acknowledged it is in talks with the DOJ and California attorney general office, stating, "We are working cooperatively to address any questions they have."

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