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A senior US government official has criticised Europe's antitrust policy toward companies such as Coca-Cola. At a conference in Brussels, assistant attorney at the US justice department Hewitt Pate said that how to treat dominant companies "remains the area of the greatest separation and potential separation between US and EU approaches."

Coca-Cola has been in stalemate with the EU over the last five years, regarding accusations that it has been leveraging its strength in cola brands to gain an unfair advantage over other drinks.

Although Pate did not refer directly to Coke, he did say that the EC's approach to the legality of loyalty rebates, which the commission is challenging Coke over, is "quite different" from the US approach, which requires a finding of harm to consumers.

Quoting former US Judge Learned Hand, Pate said: "The competitor, having been urged to compete, shouldn't be turned upon when he wins."


Sectors: Soft drinks

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