Coca-Cola has given in to the European Union in a 5-year anti-trust case, over an important sales practice which has been attributed to making the company so successful. The practice is this: Coca-Cola offers incentives to retailers who choose to take a Coca-Cola refrigerator and stock it with Coca-Cola Company drinks. And so far it has been very successful…. until today.

Let me be very clear. The European Union have forced Coca-Cola into a position where they must allow competitors to stock drinks in their refrigerators…. to “level the playing field”, so to speak. Never mind that they are THEIR refrigerators, never mind that two consenting parties (Coca-Cola and the retailer) have entered into private agreements, never mind that Coca-Cola have been entirely fair and consistently contractual about those arrangements, OR that it is an entirely legitimate means of earning a living for the thousands of people employed by Coca-Cola……….. they have simply become too big for the comfort of those bureaucrats in the European Union.

Let me be even clearer. The European Union have effectively said to Coca-Cola: “Listen; you have to give these other guys a chance. Your arrangements with these retailers are making YOU more popular and the other guys LESS popular. So you’ve got to let them stock drinks in your fridges.” When Coca-Cola have replied: “But its the reason we have been able to make a living – its one of our central sales programs!”, the EU have simply issued them with threats of a hefty fine if they don’t comply.

What a bunch of meddling, ignorant, cretinous, arrogrant quangos. Here is their message: DON’T GET TOO SUCCESSFUL. You can make a living, but don’t get too good at what you do, otherwise we’ll have to coerce you. But isn’t it someone’s RIGHT to enter into as many private contracts as they want, in order to improve their business? FORGET RIGHTS!! The European Union will stomp all over those rights! They hate business! They hate success! In the interests of some left-wing understanding of utopian “fairness” they will not ALLOW success!

How far will we allow such legislation to infringe on the rights of individuals and corporations?

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John Wright

johnwright@softhome.net