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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday cleared PepsiCo Inc.'s (PEP) $7.8 billion acquisition of its two largest bottlers and distributors, but the agency required the soft-drink seller to restrict its access to confidential business information of rival Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS).
The FTC's action clears PepsiCo to acquire Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG) and PepsiAmericas Inc. (PAS), its two largest independent bottlers and distributors. The deal was announced in August 2009.
The FTC said PepsiCo will set up a firewall to ensure that its ownership of the bottling companies does not give certain employees access to commercially sensitive confidential Dr Pepper Snapple marketing and brand plans.
The commission said Dr Pepper Snapple provides information about its marketing plans to Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas to help them bottle and distribute its beverages.
-By Brent Kendall, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9222; firstname.lastname@example.org