U.S. FTC Probes Pepsi, Coca-Cola Over Price Discrimination: Reports

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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U.S. FTC Probes Pepsi, Coca-Cola Over Price Discrimination: Reports

Beverage giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are under preliminary investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over potential price discrimination in the soft drink market, Politico has reported, citing sources.

The pricing strategies of both companies are being scrutinised under the Robinson-Patman Act, the report said.

The U.S. antitrust law prevents large franchises and chains from engaging in price discrimination against small businesses.

The FTC reached out to large retailers, including Walmart Inc, for at least a month seeking data and other information on how they purchase and price soft drinks, two of the sources told Politico.

Walmart is currently not a target in the investigation, according to the report.


FTC, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Walmart did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comments.

Labour Support Mechanism

Elsewhere, the FTC has proposed a rule that would ban companies from requiring workers to sign noncompete provisions as well as some training repayment agreements, which companies use to keep workers from leaving for better jobs.

Noncompete agreements "block workers from freely switching jobs, depriving them of higher wages and better working conditions, and depriving businesses of a talent pool that they need to build and expand," FTC chair Lina Khan said in a statement.

The proposed rule is the latest sign from the Biden administration of its support for labor, including backing a measure to make it harder for an employer to classify a person as an "independent contractor," which generally means fewer benefits and legal protections.


Both President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the FTC step toward banning noncompete provisions, with Biden saying that they "are designed simply to lower people's wages."

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest A-Brands news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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