The US soft drinks behemoth Coca-Cola Co has lost its attempt to halt a securities-fraud lawsuit, after a judge ruled there was enough evidence to let investigators proceed.

The lawsuit claims the company deliberately inflated sales by forcing Japanese bottlers to take excess syrup, a practice known as "channel stuffing".

The judge ruled that investors should be allowed get internal documents from Coca-Cola to develop their case.

Coke had asked that the suit should be thrown out due to insufficient evidence.