The Slovenian Competition Protection Agency recently publicly commended Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Slovenia for voluntarily implementing improvements to its business practices in the local HoReCa sector. The improvements were the result of a constructive dialogue, that lasted more than a year, between the Agency and Coca-Cola. The new practices were implemented voluntarily by Coca-Cola, without any formal procedure being initiated by the Agency against Coca-Cola’s Slovenian operations.
According to the Agency’s announcement, Coca-Cola implemented the following additional practices:
- formal separation of the sale contracts for carbonated non-alcoholic beverages from the sale contracts for other types of drinks;
- ensuring that the buyers will have the option to enter into the exclusivity arrangements only if Coca-Cola’s beverages are not dominant;
- formally excluding the obligation of buyers to include new Coca-Cola’s products in their portfolio;
- a more transparent specification of payments for marketing investments
The Agency also pointed out that Coca-Cola had already established a program that ensured compliance with competition regulations in the HoReCa sector and that it held regular competition law training for its employees. The conduct of Coca-Cola, according to the Agency, represents an example of good practice for other companies in ensuring compliance with competition regulations. Companies in question, other interested market participants as well as the Agency may benefit from such a proactive approach.