Coca-Cola Forced To Play Nice In Europe

USA Today: The European Union said Wednesday that it reached an agreement with Coca-Cola that allows the world’s largest soft-drink maker to escape a fine but puts restrictions on its sales practices in Europe.
Under the deal, the Atlanta-based company will no longer be able to strike exclusive arrangements with stores and cafes in Europe that stop them from serving rival brands, or offer them rebates for buying more of its brands.
Coke also will no longer be allowed to force retailers to stock its less popular brands alongside Coke or Fanta. And it will have to allow retailers provided coolers by Coca-Cola to stock them with rival brands, as well.
“This decision will benefit consumers by improving competition in the markets for carbonated soft drinks in Europe,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said. “Thanks to the commission’s decision, consumers will be able to choose from a larger range of fizzy drinks at competitive prices.”

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