• Fox News reports that Coca-Cola plans to discontinue sales of its new energy drink, Coke Energy, launched just last year.
According to the story, "The decision comes as a part of the company's move to streamline products and focus on its fast-moving beverages as consumers pick up more of its traditional sodas and flavored sparkling waters as they come out of the pandemic."
Coke Energy will remain on store shelves outside the US, the story says; Coke "still holds a majority stake in Monster Beverage Corp, one of the top energy drink makers in the United States," Fox News notes.
• Bloomberg reports that "7-Eleven Inc.’s purchase of the Speedway retail chain violates antitrust laws, the head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said, casting doubt over the future of the $21 billion deal that closed Friday.
"FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and her fellow Democratic commissioner said the agency would continue to investigate the acquisition even after 7-Eleven announced it had completed the deal."
The story says that "7-Eleven and Marathon said in separate statements that they were legally allowed to close the deal after they negotiated an agreement with the FTC that allowed them to complete the transaction Friday if the agency didn’t move to stop it. Such so-called timing agreements are common in merger investigations by the government.
"7-Eleven said the companies agreed to multiple extensions of the timing agreement this year. During that time, 7-Eleven negotiated a settlement with with the FTC’s staff to resolve the agency’s concerns that the Speedway deal threatened competition, the company said. The agreement called for selling 293 stores, according to 7-Eleven."
"The FTC’s two Republican commissioners issued a statement agreeing that the deal violates antitrust laws," the story says, and it seems at least possible that the FTC could go to court to unwind the merger.
• In Colorado, the Daily Camera reports that the "Longmont City Council on Tuesday night is to resume discussing whether it still wants staff to proceed with steps toward an ordinance that would require restaurants serving children’s meals to make water or unsweetened milk the preferred drink options with those kids’ meals.
"In March 2020, Council members voted to have city staff continue working on that idea, which had been promoted by a coalition of agencies and organizations lobbying for such a 'healthy drinks for kids' measure. Those advocates of a Longmont ordinance had argued it could help prevent such long-term consequences as obesity, tooth decay, diabetes and other health problems in those children’s later lives."