EU: Commission rules on Coke anti-trust probe
As forecast earlier today, the Coca-Cola Co. has had restrictions placed on its sales practices by the European Commission. The company has avoided a fine in the long-running investigation, however.
The legally binding agreement will see retailers with Coke coolers be permitted to stock them with rival brands. They will also no longer be encouraged to stock Coke's less popular brands as part of tie-in deals. The agreement, based on an undertaking Coke and its major European bottlers filed with the EC in October last year, will run until the end of 2010. If Coke violates the agreement, the EU warned, it could face fines of up to 10% of global sales.
Speaking to Associated Press earlier today, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "This decision will benefit consumers by improving competition in the markets for carbonated soft drinks in Europe.
"Thanks to the Commission's decision, consumers will be able to choose from a larger range of fizzy drinks at competitive prices."
In a statement, Neville Isdell, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Co., said: "We welcome today's decision, which marks the conclusion of a six-year investigation. Throughout the process, we and our European bottlers have been committed to a constructive dialogue with the Commission Services and to finding solutions that would meet the Commission's concerns. As a result of the Commission's Commitment Decision, which follows the draft undertaking that we submitted last October to former Commissioner Monti, we now have clarity regarding the application of European competition rules to our commercial practices in the European Economic Area."
The president of one of Coke's European bottlers, Coca-Cola Enterprises, John Alm, added: "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the European Commission that gives us an accepted operating framework in our European territories.
"We look forward to meeting the growing needs of our customers and consumers as we work within its guidelines."
Dairy, functional and premium juices were the winners, water continued to grow, whilst carbonates and squashes lagged behind in the 2004 UK soft drinks race, according to the recently published Britvi...
A recent report on the UK soft drinks market showed that growth in non-carbonates at the expense of traditional carbonated soft drinks is much less marked in the on-premise sector than in the take-hom...
Coca-Cola Enterprises looks ready to axe around 170 jobs from its operations in the UK....
The president and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises is quitting the company....
Coca-Cola Enterprises has announced the election of five officers to its corporate and North American Business Unit management teams....
Coca-Cola Enterprises has had its rating upgraded....
Workers at Coca-Cola bottling and distribution facilities in Hartford, Connecticut and the Los Angeles area are on strike....
The president of the European arm of the Coca-Cola Company has been appointed president of the European soft drinks trade body UNESDA-CISDA....
- Brown-Forman's march on premium whisk(e)y -Comment
- Where does AB InBev see the future of beer?
- SABMiller in Cent'l & E Europe - What is for sale?
- Are consumers getting tired of consuming?
- A-B InBev and its SABMiller divestments - Focus
- Brown-Forman to buy BenRiach Distillery Co
- Bacardi rolls out new global Martini ad - video
- Brown-Forman appoints new GTR marketing head
- Molson Coors' Rekorderlig Cider Cocktails - NPD
- Carlsberg's Shed Head and Bad Apple craft - NPD
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- What Next for Beer and Brewers Following the MegaBrew Deal?
- Emerging Drinks Industry Trends