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Greek regulator fines Coke bottler June 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.

Greek regulator fines Coke bottler 8.7 mln euros

Greece’s competition watchdog imposed an 8.7 million euro ($11 million) fine on Coca-Cola HBC (CCHBC) on Wednesday for failing to comply with competition rules, but the Greek bottler said it would likely appeal, the Reuters reports.

The Greek regulator said it fined CCHBC, the world’s second largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, for failing to respect a 2002 ruling regarding a ban on the exclusive use of its coolers at points of sale.

“The Competition Committee ruled that Coca-Cola HBC did not comply with its obligations”, the Greek watchdog said in a statement. The total fine amounts to 8,662,644 euros and relates to the period from Feb. 1, 2002, to Feb. 16, 2006.

It also said the Greek Coke bottler failed to stop practices that favoured wholesalers and retailers who exclusively sold CCHBC products.

The bottler, in which Coca-Cola Co. holds a 24 percent stake, said it has always complied with the Greek law and would consider appealing against the decision.

“We are evaluating the decision and it is very likely that we will appeal”, CCHBC investor relations chief Melina Androutsopoulou told Reuters.

CCHBC shares were trading 0.6 percent lower at 22.8 euros mid-session, while the broader Greek market was down 0.3 percent.

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