Coca-Cola Energy gets green light from arbitrators in Monster dispute
The dispute related to a 2015 agreement between Monster Beverage Corporation and The Coca-Cola Company, which set out conditions for energy products to be launched under Monster and non-energy products under Coca-Cola.
Monster had argued the launch of Coca-Cola Energy infringed this agreement, while Coca-Cola said the companies' agreement had exceptions that allowed the move.
An arbitration tribunal of the American Arbitration Association has ruled in favor of Coca-Cola, saying that Coca-Cola Energy falls under an exception to the non-compete provision because it is positioned under the Coca-Cola brand.
Coca-Cola Energy roll-out can continue
Coca-Cola and Monster entered into a long-term partnership in 2015, where Coca-Cola gained a minority ownership interest in Monster and became Monster’s preferred global distribution partner. Coca-Cola transferred ownership of its energy business to Monster; while gaining Monster’s non-energy business.
Coca-Cola Energy - the first energy drink to be released under the Coca-Cola brand - was launched in April in Ireland and the UK in both sugar and no sugar variants. The drink contains caffeine from naturally-derived sources, guarana extracts and B vitamins, and is free from taurine. It has since been rolled out to other markets such as Australia.
Coca-Cola and Monster mutually agreed to submit their dispute to arbitration in October 2018, with the arbitrators now ruling that Coca-Cola can continue to sell and distribute Coca-Cola Energy, including in markets where it has already been launched as well as in additional markets globally.
A joint statement from Coca-Cola and Monster says: “The companies respect the arbitrators’ decision and appreciate that the dispute was resolved amicably.
"While there was a disagreement between Coca-Cola and Monster over contractual language, the companies value their relationship and look forward to their continued partnership.”