Coca-Cola bottlers in Mexico could be hit by fines for alleged monpoly practices. The country's Federal Competition Commission said last week that the 15 companies could face fines totalling MXN157.5m (US$14.6m).

The antitrust body has been informed of the alleged practices by some wholesalers and by Peruvian soft drinks maker Ajegroup. The Peruvian company also distributes Big Cola in Mexico.

The bottlers have been given 30 days to appeal and prove that they had not entered into monopoly practices. Sources from the Commission have suggested to Latin America News Digest that the 15 companies could be fined around MXN10.5m each.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola de Mexico, the local Coke unit, told the news digest that the company would use all legal means to prove that it respects fair corporate practices.