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Regulator fines Coca-Cola $11m for abuse of monopoly

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Coca-Cola has been penalised an equivalent of US$11million in Israel for abusing monopoly, such as imposing a policy that prohibits competing products in its retailers’ refrigerators.

The Israel Competition Authority announced this Tuesday, December 24, 2019, that Coca-Cola Israel had been fined 39 million new shekels (11million U.S. Dollars) for anti-competitive behaviour.

Xinhua reports the regulatory authority mentioned six infringing actions by the company, which manufactures and markets U.S. beverage giant Coca-Cola’s products in the country, and is headquartered in the central city of Bnei Brak.

Coca-Cola Israel, findings showed, introduced a clause in trade agreements with retailers, whereby it could cancel the agreements if customers significantly reduced purchases from the company.

Besides, the company also imposed a policy that prohibited placing competing products in its retail clients’ refrigerators, and has acted to exclude competing refrigerators from sales points.

According to Israel Competition Authority, the company also conditioned a discount on Coca-Cola drinks on the purchase of other products from the company.

Coca-Cola Israel, said the source, likewise stopped the supply to retailers which were also selling parallel-imported Coca-Cola products.

The authority, however, noted that the company weakened the competitiveness of other companies, making it difficult for them to sell products, and hindered the possibility of price reductions, which violated Israel’s Economic Competition Law.

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