Anheuser-Busch sues Major League Baseball

November 15, 2010

Anheuser-Busch Inc. sued Major League Baseball, claiming that baseball’s licensing arm reneged on a multiyear renewal of the company’s beer-sponsorship rights and demanded “exponentially higher” fees.

The brewer has accused the league of reneging on a deal signed in April by asking for far more money to continue its more than 30-year association.

It said the league had demanded an “exponentially higher” fee than that agreed.

It wants the league to honour the April agreement and be prevented from negotiating with rival beer companies.

Anheuser called the agreement “clear, unambiguous, binding and more than fair”.

It argued that the league had changed its position after Anheuser also became official beer sponsor of the National Football League in May.

“Anheuser-Busch has spent decades, and millions of dollars, building the reputation and goodwill of Budweiser and the other Anheuser-Busch brands with these fans,” the lawsuit said. “Their loss would be unquantifiable.”

The baseball league said it had a “different view” than Anheuser.