The Coca-Cola Company/Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Merger: Lessons for Robust Regional Competition Enforcement

AuthorGrace Nsomba
DOI10.1177/0003603X211045436
Published date01 December 2021
Date01 December 2021
Symposium: Competition Policy and Law within the Context of the Continental Integration:
What Are the Sticking Issues for African Countries?
The Coca-Cola Company/
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa
Merger: Lessons for Robust
Regional Competition Enforcement
Grace Nsomba*
Abstract
This article uses the Coca-Cola Company/Coca-Cola Beverages Africa merger to illustrate the
important role that competition policy should continue to play in the regional and continental inte-
gration agenda. The case provides an illustrative example that the structure and reach of firms play a
pivotal role in the dynamics of value chains, as well as on the extent to which market power can
potentially be exerted within and across countries. Competitive rivalry is necessary for innovation and
lower prices, but the playing field needs to be leveled in order for entrants and smaller rivals to make
and realize investments, build capabilities, and participate effectively. Competition reforms that take a
bottom-up approach and account for the varying levels of development of countries play an integral
role in opening up markets for entrants and small rivals, which in turn allow for the objectives of the
African Continental Free Trade Area to be realized.
Keywords
competition, mergers, regulation, African Continental Free Trade Area
I. Introduction
A. Background
The shift toward globalization and an acute focus on regional integration over the past several decades
has been instrumental for firms across the world in moving to supply customers in various regions.
1
* Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, College of Business and Economics, University of
Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Corresponding Author:
Grace Nsomba, Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, College of Business and Economics,
University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa.
Email: gnsomba@uj.ac.za
1. Sandro Sideri, Globalization and Regional Integration, 9 EUR. J. DEV. RES. 38–82 (2007).
The Antitrust Bulletin
2021, Vol. 66(4) 544–555
ªThe Author(s) 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/0003603X211045436
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