EC gives Coke the go-ahead to buy out U.K. bottler

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BRUSSELS -- The European Commission today gave Coca-Cola the go-ahead to buy out its UK bottler Coca-Cola Schweppes Beverages, opening the door for similar moves elsewhere in the Union.

Complaints largely from rivals claimed that such an acquisition would be anti-competitive by giving Coca-Cola a dominant position in the cola market.

However the Commission argues that CCSB already has a dominant position and the acquisition would not make any difference.

"The Commission has determined that there is not adequate evidence to conclude that the operation would lead to a reinforcement of CCSB's dominant position," says a statement put out shortly after the decision was taken.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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