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The five-year antitrust investigation of Coca-Cola Co is approaching a decisive crossroads. European officials plan to present their evidence to an internal panel next month, Dow Jones reported sources close to the case as saying.

The panel will test the strength of the investigation's evidence and will decide whether to proceed with formal charges or abandon the probe and narrow its scope. If formal charges are brought to bear on Coca-Cola this could lead to fines and restrictions on the company's commercial practices.

No date has been set for the panel, although it is believed that it will be held some time in November. It will meet in secret to decide what course of action to take.

A spokesman for Coca-Cola told Dow Jones that the company is "confident that the case is being handled in a professional, fair and diligent matter".


Sectors: Soft drinks

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