Coca Cola Co. has made an offer to the European Commission in an attempt to end the long-running anti-trust allegations, according to sources close to the situation. Coke has offered to eliminate rebates which are rewarded only if retailers reach certain sales targets, sources were reported by Reuters saying yesterday.

The move marks another attempt by the company to placate the Commission. Coke initially made an offer in January that was rejected by the Commission, and then came back in mid-May with a better one. The two sides have since appeared to be moving closer to a settlement.

Coke has also offered to stop giving rebates on the condition that merchants group its products together in so-called 'red racks' which display ordinary Coke, special flavours of Coke such as vanilla and Coke's non-cola products.

Coke's main rival, PepsiCo, complained that rivals were shut out because shoppers were drawn to the Coke rack and then shopped for other drink products there without looking at rival offerings elsewhere in the store.

Innovative drinks would have no chance of competing against the red rack, the Commission believes.

Coke also offered to make space available in its branded coolers for so-called "guest drinks", although not for rival colas. These non-Coca Cola Co. products would be given 20% of the cooler's capacity.