Pepsi presses 'freedom of choice'

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Pepsi-Cola North America President-CEO Phil Marineau, saying he is pushing for "freedom of choice" for beverage consumers, announced Pepsi-Cola Co. signed a deal to distribute Pepsi and Diet Pepsi on American Airlines without seeking to be that airline's exclusive cola. American already distributes Coca-Cola Co. cola brands. The deal is effective July 1. Last week, Pepsi filed an antitrust suit charging Coca-Cola with blocking Pepsi from equal access to distributors in the foodservice business, a key growth area for beverage companies. Mr. Marineau made the announcement at a beverage conference in New York sponsored by consultancy Beverage Marketing Corp. and Beverage World Publications Group.

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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