China bans Coke merger

Author: | Published: 18 Mar 2009

In a move that will fuel concerns about protectionism, China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) has blocked Coca-Cola’s merger with Huiyuan Juice.

In an announcement published on Mofcom’s website, the anti-monopoly regulator prohibited the transaction, expressing concern about the proposed merger’s impact on existing small-scale juice manufacturers.

Commentators, however, question whether this tells the full story.

“The decision is not expressly protectionist but there will be certain suspicions that non-competitive factors played a role, particularly considering the media speculation...