Coke's Mexican Stand-off with Pepsi

18 August 2005

Global soft drinks giant PepsiCo has won a legal victory in Mexico over its bigger rival, the Coca-Cola Company and six local Coke bottlers.

The country's Federal Competition Commission has fined Atlanta-headquartered Coke and its associates around $51 million (€41m; £28m) for uncompetitive practices.

But New York state-based PepsiCo has been here before. It originally filed the complaint in 2000. In 2002, the antitrust commission ruled Coke was abusing its dominance of Mexican retailers and ordered it to stop certain sales practices, such as exclusive contracts.

Coke appealed that decision and won, which prompted another review by the competition commission and the latest ruling. Coke is planning to appeal again, while the bottlers are considering their response.

Last year Coke had a 69% share of the Mexican soft drinks market while Pepsi was a distant second with 14.8%.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff