P.M. BRIEFING : Pepsi Raises India Protest on Coke

From Times wire services

Pepsico Inc., granted approval last year to set up a plant in India, is opposing a proposal by archrival Coca-Cola Co. to re-enter the Indian market, a government minister told Parliament today.

Minister of State for Food Processing Jagdish Tytler told the lower house, or Lok Sabha, that Pepsico has raised serious objections since reports surfaced in newspapers that the government would approve a plan by Coca-Cola to build a $2.3-million facility outside New Delhi.

Coca Cola had operated in India from 1950 until 1977, when it was forced to close its operations after the government insisted it abide by a law limiting foreign ownership in Indian subsidiaries. At that time the government also ordered Atlanta-based Coca-Cola to reveal the secret formula for its popular soda.

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