Skip to main content

Boxed bottles of Coors Light beer, manufactured by Molson Coors Brewing Co., move along the production line ahead of shipping.

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Beer giants Molson Canada and Miller Brewing Co. have settled their fight over who gets to sell Miller Genuine Draft in Canada.

The two companies announced Friday that they have amicably settled a legal dispute that has been going on for years. As of April 2015, Miller will take over the sales of Miller products, including the key Genuine Draft brand, which had been part of the Molson portfolio of beer in Canada.

Molson, a unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co., has had the exclusive rights to distribute Miller products – such as Genuine Draft – under an arrangement that goes back decades. But Miller wanted to end the arrangement, because it thinks it can do a better job of selling its own beer in Canada. Miller gave official notice in January 2013 that it wanted to end the deal as of July of that year, but Molson said that couldn't be done under the terms of the contract. It went to court in May 2013 to get a temporary injunction to keep the distribution arrangement in place until the merits of the dispute could be heard in court.

Story continues below advertisement

A court date was set, but the two companies decided at the last minute to negotiate privately, rather than take it in front of a judge.

The key issue is the amount of Miller Genuine Draft that Molson has sold in Canada in recent years. From 2010 to 2012, the sales were far below the targets set out in the contract, and Miller, a unit of British-based SABMiller PLC, said that gave it the right to terminate its deal.

Molson said those targets were supposed to be renegotiated. In addition, it said in legal submissions that Miller Genuine Draft is a strategic brand in filling out its portfolio of beers, and losing it would cause "irreparable harm."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter