Mexico rejects Coke, Cadbury-Schweppes deal

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MEXICO CITY--Mexico's Federal Competition Commission (CFC) has rejected Coca-Cola Co.'s plan to acquire Cadbury-Schweppes, stating it would be counter to market competition in this country.

Coca-Cola has the right to appeal to the CFC, but the Mexican authorities could impose conditions or require other changes to the deal before allowing it to go through.

The CFC, which is in charge of regulating fair competition, notes that if the acquisition went through, Coca-Cola would control 71% of the carbonated beverage market in Mexico. Its current sales of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light and six other smaller brands represent nearly 65% of the Mexican market, the CFC says. Coca-Cola's leading competitor, PepsiCo, currently controls 12% of the market.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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