Coca-Cola gets green signal to sell energy drink under Monster contract

FILE PHOTO: A Coca-Cola truck makes its way through downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – An arbitration tribunal has ruled that Coca-Cola Co <KO.N> can sell its energy drink globally under the terms of the contract with Monster Beverage Corp <MNST.O>, the two companies said on Monday, months after the launch of the product in Europe.

The soda maker was in arbitration with Monster Beverage over the launch of Coca-Cola Energy, as it would put the company in direct competition with Monster and violate their initial agreement in 2015.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola launched the drink as a part of its efforts to break away from its traditional fizzy sodas and shift to health-focused trends.

Coca-Cola Energy, first launched in Spain and Hungary in April, has caffeine from naturally derived sources, guarana extracts, B vitamins and no taurine – a stimulant often found in energy drinks.

According to the ruling, the beverage maker can continue to sell and distribute Coca-Cola Energy, including in markets where it has already been launched, and is free to launch the product in new markets globally.

Coca-Cola said it would continue its partnership with Monster, in which it holds a stake of nearly 19%.

Shares of Monster fell 3% before the opening bell, while Coca-Cola’s shares rose marginally.

More Stories