The Federal Trade Commission has dismissed its complaint against Coca Cola Bottling Company of the Southwest, in which it had charged that the firm’s acquisition of the San Antonio, Texas-area Dr Pepper franchise violated federal antitrust law. The Commission said that, while it disagrees with a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the competitive effects of the acquisition should be reviewed under the Soft Drink Interbrand Competition Act of 1980 rather than the Clayton Act, the circumstances in which the court’s reading applies "are not likely to present themselves in any future case." In addition, the Commission said, given the date of the transaction (1984), the limited size of the market and the age of the evidence regarding its competitive impact, "further expenditure of resources on this case would not be in the public interest."
The Commission vote in this matter was 3-0, with Commissioners Mary L. Azcuenaga and Roscoe B. Starek, III, recused. Under a Commission rule, ex parte communications about this matter are barred for 20 days after the order is served to permit the filing of a petition for reconsideration. If such a petition is filed, the bar on ex parte communications applies until the Commission resolves the petition.
Copies of the Commission order returning the matter to adjudication and dismissing the complaint, as well as other documents associated with this case, are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. 9215)