How Does InBev’s Purchase of Anheuser-Busch Affect St. Louis?

BY busadmin  April 27, 2009 at 10:12 AM EDT

Anheuser-Busch window; stlouisheat via Flickr

Question: For nearly 150 years, Anheuser-Busch was locally owned here in St. Louis. Now, it’s owned by someone in Belgium. Does this really mean anything for St. Louis beyond those who work for Anheuser-Busch/InBev?

Paul Solman: It certainly might. A common and fair complaint about globalization is that it separates businesses from the places in which they DO their business. If a business operates amidst, and is therefore dependent upon, a local community, it tends to treat that community with more care than if it’s an ocean away. It has more of an investment in the community — financially, emotionally, politically — and therefore usually makes more of an investment.

Plus, there’s a real loss to St. Louis of jobs axed at A-B due to “synergy” (read: layoffs because InBev in Belgium already has people doing the same work). Presumably, had the company remained independent, not as many jobs would have been eliminated locally.

Thanks to KETC/Channel 9 in St. Louis for collecting viewer questions.