Lobby calls for probe into EABL over brown beer bottle

Friday, January 3rd, 2020 11:15 |

A lobby group has petitioned the Competition Authority of Kenya to investigate East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) over unfair trade practices, saying the brewer’s activities could strangle locally-owned businesses leading to loss of jobs.

In a petitioned filed by Bunge la Mwananchi on December 31, the lobby says the move by EABL to claim the ownership of the Euro beer bottle (brown bottle) was aimed at persecuting and hounding out local brewer Keroche.

Intellectual rights 

In the petition, Bunge la Mwanachi accuses EABL of contravening the Competition Act and a November 25, 2016 court ruling by Justice Fred Ochieng that no company could claim intellectual rights on the brown beer bottle.

“We the petitioner, as protected by the Constitution, do hereby petition the Competition Control of Kenya to investigate the conduct of EABL’s unfair competition practice and further take requisite action as provided in law,” reads the petition in part.

EABL is majority owned by Diageo, a British multinational that manufactures alcoholic beverages while Keroche Breweries is owned by Kenyan family of Tabitha and Joseph Karanja.

Speaking at a Nairobi Hotel, the lobby group’s Attorney General, Edward Githaiga called on President Uhuru to intervene saying leaving locally-owned industries at the mercy of multinationals could result in loss of jobs, government revenue and the collapse of local businesses.

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