Kartellen som sprängdes. Svensk bryggeriindustri under institutionell och strukturell omvandling 1945–1975
Kartellen som sprängdes. The Swedish brewing industry during institutional and structural change 1945 – 1975. (Publications of the Department of Economic history, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, no 98) ISSN 1403 - 2864 ISBN 91 - 85196 - 64 - 9 Göteborg 2006 Author: Peter Sandberg Doctoral Dissertation at the Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University. (Written in Swedish with a summary in English). Distribution: The department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Box 720, SE-40530 Göteborg, Sweden. In the aftermath of the Second World War there was a turn in the official view concerning problems related to competition. In order to create a stronger trade and industry, the needs to rationalise the structure of business organisation became a central aim. To reach this goal, the monopolistic cartels had to be abolished. The Swedish brewing industry was deeply affected by this process. Until the mid 1950´s, nearly all of the breweries were organised in a cartel that settled fixed prices and distribution areas. In the new legislative environment which developed, the cartel could not survive and it ceased to exist in 1955. The major reason the relatively small breweries scattered around the country had survived during the interwar years was that they were organised in the brewing cartel. Furthermore, the strict policy concerning alcohol and concessions to start new breweries supported a limited competition. In the early 1950´s, most of the small breweries had difficulties surviving in a competitive market. Instead, it was the major combines in the three biggest cities that strengthened their position. It is important to notice that the new institutional framework both meant a concentration of breweries, but at the same time a few breweries which never had been a part of the cartel emerged in the market. In the early 1960´s the two biggest combines merged. The new company – Pripps – had a total market share of sixty percent and became the single most important brewery in Sweden. At the same time competition increased. The major reason was the access for new actors in the wake of the institutional change and the introduction of a new type of medium-strong beer. The changing structure of the retail trade sector and the more efficient distribution opportunities were also important factors. Together with new distribution network and an unexploited innovation, the tin can, new entrepreneurs could enter the market and were able to challenge Pripps. After the merger, Pripps started to plan future rationalisations in production and distribution. Even though the company lost market shares in the latter part of the sixties the volume of production increased. But in the end of the decade, it became obvious that Pripps had difficulties to expanding in the Swedish and foreign markets. The solution was diversification and to reorganise the company in an investment trust. In 1973, Pripps started negotiations about a sale of the brewing division. In the end, the Swedish government became the owner of sixty percent in Pripps brewing division.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law
Date of defence
Pripp & Lyckholm
Bryggeri AB Falken
Meddelanden från Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen, nr 98