The Chinese MOFCOM blocks the acquisition of a Chinese fruit juice company by a US beverage company (Coca-Cola / Huiyuan Juice)

The Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) of the People’s Republic of China has rejected on antitrust grounds a proposed acquisition by The Coca-Cola Company of the Huiyuan Juice Group, a Chinese manufacturer and distributor of fruit drinks. This is the first complete rejection of a substantial proposed transaction under the new Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”), which came into effect on August 1, 2008. (Last November, MOFCOM approved the InBev/AB acquisition but imposed significant conditions on the deal). In recent months MOFCOM has been issuing proposed merger control regulations that suggested the agency was attempting largely to conform its enforcement standards to

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