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Coca-Cola Co. and the Federal Trade Commission have settled a nine-year dispute over Coca-Cola's proposed agreement to buy Dr Pepper in 1986. The FTC had ruled the purchase would violate antitrust laws, and yesterday Coca-Cola agreed to give the agency "notice before it buys another U.S. beverage company with sales of more than 10 million cases." The agreement reportedly "won't affect Coca-Cola's plans to buy root beer maker Barq's Inc." and analysts say the deal is a "victory for Coca-Cola because it loosens previous FTC restriction and keeps Coca-Cola on the playing field in the rapidly consolidating market." But it could put an end to one frequently circulated rumor -- that Coca-Cola "might buy new soft drink giant Quaker Oats. Co., maker of Gatorade and Snapple" (Chris Roush, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/19).
Walt Disney Co. will join with House of Blues to open night spots at Disney theme parks and other sites, according the this morning's N.Y. POST. House of Blues is a chain of "music-retail- dining spots" with four locations, including a "sprawling and wildly successful" store in L.A. The chain "plans to open at least four more night spots in Paris, London, Chicago, and Las Vegas -- and Disney is prepared to invest $25 million into that second phase of expansion." The first venture with Disney will open on Pleasure Island at Disney World (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST, 5/19).
The Grizzlies unveiled their official home and road uniforms and warm-up suits yesterday in Vancouver. The uniforms, produced by Champion, carry the team colors of Naismith Red, Pacific Turquoise and Black. The road uniforms will be predominantly Pacific Turquoise. GM Stu Jackson, who was involved in the design of the new look, said "we were looking for something distinct without losing a sense of classic style" (Grizzlies).
Marketing representatives for WBO and IBF Lightweight Champion Oscar De La Hoya believe the boxer has all the ingredients to transcend the sport's "negative image" and become a heavyweight in the sports marketing ring. Fred Fried, Exec VP of Integrated Sports International, which handles De La Hoya' business interests, told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that De La Hoya's "youth, looks, background and potential 'outweigh'" the negatives associated with boxing. Fried: "For a young man, he has an awful lot to say. He has some real deep roots in the Los Angeles community and he's an Hispanic-American who bears a responsibility for being one of the most visible members of his community. But, at the same time, he is in demand by a much broader audience." De La Hoya has established deals with Mennen and B.U.M. Equipment. Mennen originally wanted to sign him solely for its Hispanic marketing efforts, but, according to Fried, the company will use him for "general marketing programs." Fried says De La Hoya is also involved in philanthropic efforts dedicated to addressing the needs of the "sick and underprivileged kids" in L.A. (THE DAILY).