After a lengthy investigation, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) gave its approval to the acquisition by InBev (Belgium) of the US's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch. The deal is one of the largest cash acquisitions in corporate history and secures InBev's position as global leader in the beer market. The OFT's initial investigation disclosed that InBev's ownership of the Stella Artois and Beck brands made it the leading supplier of premium lager in the UK. The acquisition of the Budweiser brand would further increase its market share. The investigation indicates that the deal was unlikely to raise competition concerns in the off-trade market (i.e. retail sales through shops, supermarkets and specialist outlets) where the barriers to market for rival brands are low. The OFT took a closer look however at the impact on the on-trade channel (i.e. pub, bar and restaurants), where the parties represent over 50% of sales of premium lager. Nevertheless, it was apparent that the majority of the UK's on-trade market comprises sales of draught beer where the parties do not have overlapping interests since Budweiser is sold only in bottles. Although InBev and Anheuser-Busch do compete for sales of bottle beer and "fridge shelf space" in the on-trade market, the OFT concluded Budweiser and Beck's are not considered close substitutes by consumers.