USA – American energy drinks company Monster BevCorp, has accused the Austrian contender Red Bull of anti-competitive tactics.

In an email to Reuters, Monster said the company “believes it has been the subject of Red Bull’s anti-competitive tactics. We are therefore not surprised by the Commission’s decision to commence an investigation into Red Bull in multiple Member States under Articles 101 and 102. Monster Energy supports the Commission’s inquiries”.

The EU antitrust investigators raided the premises of Red Bull over suspicions of taking part in a cartel and also abusing its dominance in the wildly popular market, officials said.

Red Bull confirmed the EU Commission officials “visited their premises” and noted that they will cooperate with them on all matters that concern the company.

If the company is found guilty, the competition enforcer in the 27-country bloc may issue a fine to Red Bull that could rise to a significant lump of cash, approximated to up to 10% of its turnover.

However, the Commission will take into account if a company has admitted it violated anti-trust laws and offer reduced fines for cooperation. In some cases, it can grant immunity if actions help to uncover restrictive business practices or the operation of secret cartels.

Following the death of Austrian founder Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull named a board of three directors to lead the energy drink giant in November.

Mateschitz, who made the energy drink a global phenomenon and forged a title-winning Formula One team and a sports empire, died in October aged 78.

His son, Mark Mateschitz, now owns Distribution and Marketing GmbH, which holds 49% of Red Bull shares. The Thai Yoovidhya family holds the rest. The company is based in Fuschl am See in western Austria.

Since its launch in 1987, more than 100 billion cans of Red Bull have been sold worldwide, including over 11.5 billion in 2022, which gave it a record revenue in the financial year.

With a market share of 38%, it is the most popular energy drink brand as of 2019, and the third most valuable soft drink brand, behind Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.