Coca-Cola and Huiyuan (A): Antitrust Barriers to Buying Top Chinese Brands Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) declared a plan in September 2008 to acquire China's biggest national juice maker, China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited (Huiyuan). This acquisition will increase the market share of Coca Cola from 12.7 percent to 20.2 percent in the nation's juice market that year. Because Huiyuan-brand fruit juice is one of the dominant homegrown brands in China, this news has triggered a public outcry rooted in patriotic nationalism against Coca Cola's acquisition. Local juice producers also have protested, asserting that Coca Cola's enhanced market position would drive them out of business.

China's antitrust officials plan to run a public hearing in late December 2008. Coca Cola's senior executives are mulling over the most effective strategies to convince the authorities that this acquisition benefits the society and the consumers at large. Elements of concerns may contain the justification of regulatory management of M&A; synergies of the merging businesses; and the possible effects of merging on competition,, and interests consumer business development. (Note: Case B covers the opinion by China's antitrust authorities on Coca Cola's case and its implications for foreign businesses trying to expand company in the nation through acquisition of top national brands.)

PUBLICATION DATE: June 08, 2011 PRODUCT #: HKU946-PDF-ENG

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