Brazilian-based brewer AmBev is about to be investigated by the country’s justice ministry for its sales practices.

The investigation will establish whether the brewer and soft drink producer is breaking competition rules, according to media reports.

The competition probe follows allegations by AmBev’s rival Schincariol, who said the market leader had a loyalty programme that pressured retailers into agreeing to only sell AmBev products and not advertise rival brands.

AmBev brews beers such as Brahma, Antarctica and Skol, and it recorded a 66.3% of Brazil’s beer market at the end of June 2004.