Belgian Economy Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne has asked the competition authority to investigate whether Anheuser-Busch InBev
The world's largest brewer, maker of Budweiser, Stella and Beck's, plans to change its terms of payment to 120 days from receipt of invoice from 30 days previously in response to the challenging economic environment.
We must see whether malt producers, the suppliers of brewer AB InBev, are in a position that they have no other option. If that's the case then it could be abuse of a dominant position, Van Quickenborne told Belgian public broadcaster VRT.
The minister had asked the competition authority on Saturday to look into the matter, his spokesman said on Sunday.
AB InBev said that it was not the only multinational to have reviewed its terms of payment and that it was willing to help suppliers adjust to the new system.
InBev bought U.S. rival Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion last year and took on an initial $45 billion in debt that it is seeking to clear.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)