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Coca-Cola In EU Antitrust Crosshairs

Published on May 24 2021 7:29 AM in A-Brands tagged: EU / Coca-Cola / EuroCommerce / European Commission

Coca-Cola In EU Antitrust Crosshairs

EU antitrust regulators have launched a preliminary investigation into Coca-Cola Co, the European Commission said on Friday.

"We can confirm that the Commission has sent out questionnaires, as part of its preliminary investigation into Coca-Cola," a Commission spokeswoman said.

"The preliminary investigation is ongoing. We cannot comment on or predict its timing or outcome," she said, declining to provide further details.

Formal Request

Coca-Cola said it received a formal request for information on Thursday.

"While we will co-operate fully with the Commission, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further while the process is on-going. We abide by European competition law, as well as all other applicable laws and regulation," a Coca-Cola spokesman said.

Lobbying group EuroCommerce, whose members include Carrefour, Ikea, Metro and Tesco, said the sales practices of some large multinational brands were a concern to retailers and wholesalers.

"We have for many years pointed to the problems our sector faces with the makers of 'must-have' products using their market power to impose unilateral conditions and limit competition to their advantage," EuroCommerce director-general Christian Verschueren said in a statement.

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German media Lebensmittelzeitung was the first to report about the EU investigation.

Quarterly Report

In April, Coca-Cola beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue, fuelled by strong demand for its beverages from the gradual reopening of restaurants and cinema theatres following accelerated vaccine rollouts.

Net revenue rose to $9.02 billion in the first quarter, from $8.60 billion a year earlier, above analysts' average estimate of $8.63 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more A-Brands stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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