Heineken staff try to scuttle competition with threats

Some Heineken employees have been caught demanding that beer distributors not sell competitors’ products, although the company says this is not its policy.

Vietnam, beer, Sabeco, Heineken

Beer sellers in Ho Chi Minh City last year complained that Heineken staff had asked them to not put on display or sell products of the Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation, such as Saigon Beer and Saigon Chill, according to the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority (VCCA).

The staff allegedly threatened that if the seller continued to sell competitors’ products, they would cut support payment of several dozen million Vietnamese dong (VND10 million = $435) a month.

Heineken has said it did not direct its employees to make such threats.

The VCCA has demanded that Heineken Vietnam issues an public statement and require its employees to abide by the nation’s competition rules.

Last year, beer consumption fell 22.6 percent because of Covid-19 impacts as well as the impact of a law increasing fines for driving under the influence.

Heineken currently has a 40 percent share of the market, followed Sabeco with 34 percent.

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