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Modelo and Pacifico beer are a part of Constellation Brands. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Constellation Brands revised what had been a $1.7 billion deal to sell a portfolio of low-priced wine and spirits brands to E. & J. Gallo Winery, in order to satisfy Federal Trade Commission concerns.

The state of play: The deal value is now around $600 million lower, with Constellation retaining some of the brands, including Cook's California Champagne and J. Roget American Champagne.

Why it matters: Had the original deal gone through, estimates are that Gallo would have controlled up to 80% of America's discount sparkling wine market and almost its entire wine concentrate market.

  • More: In a separate transaction, Constellation will sell New Zealand-based Nobilo Wine brand and related assets to Gallo for $130 million.
  • The bottom line: "The proposed smaller sale would still rank as a tremendous moment within the U.S. wine sector, as Gallo would grow even bigger as the top U.S. producer and No. 3 Constellation would shrink to focus on its more profitable premium wine market. Gallo has 23% of the domestic wine market, while Constellation has 11%." — Bill Swindell, The Press-Democrat

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - World

China's economy grows 6.5% in Q4 as country rebounds from coronavirus

A technician installs and checks service robots to be be used for food and medicine delivery in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday. Photo: Hu Xuejun/VCG via Getty Images

China's economy grew at a 6.5% pace in the final quarter of 2020, the national statistics bureau announced Monday local time, topping off a year in which it grew in three of four quarters and by 2.3% in total.

Why it matters: No other major economy managed positive growth in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected in China, the country got the virus under control and became one of the main positive drivers of the global economy even as the rest of the world was largely under lockdown.