The Federal Trade Commission has started a preliminary investigation into possible price discrimination by beverage giants Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., according to a Politico report late Monday.
Citing four people with knowledge of the probe, Politico reported that the companies are being investigated for potentially violating a little-used 1936 law that bans suppliers from favoring large retailers over smaller businesses by offering them lower prices.
The investigation is still in its early stages, Politico reported, but the FTC has reportedly reached out to a number of large retailers, including Walmart Inc.
in recent months to collect purchasing and pricing information.
Shares of Coca-Cola
are up 3.6% over the past 12 months, while PepsiCo
has gained about 3% in the past year, as compared to the S&P 500’s
17% loss over that time.
The probe appears to be the latest move by the Biden administration to crack down on antitrust and rein in the power of large companies.
Read more: Sen. Mark Warner: ‘Let’s restart antitrust’ tech legislation