Controversy Over AB Inbev Owning Beer Rating Site

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( - Is it strange if a beer company invests in a digital publishing platform? Critics say "yes," if the investment is made in a beer rating site.

ZX ventures of Anheuser-Busch InBev now owns a stake in, an independent and authoritative reference in beer.

Critics cautioned that the content could be influenced by the beer maker. They also apprehend manipulation of reviews. The company's participation in RateBeer and other media would create conflict, they believe.

RateBeer site profusely uses user data and crowd-sourced reviews. RateBeer says it rarely uses editorial content and hence influence by its managers and employees are out of question. It uses an application programming interface, so that brewers, industry watchers and journalists "can easily view and vet changes in scores."

The Portland, Oregon-based RateBeer has been existent from May 2000.

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This article appears in: Stocks , Politics
Referenced Symbols: ABI , AHBIF

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