As Coca-Cola Co. seeks to acquire China's largest juice company Huiyuan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said the government would insist on the principles of market-oriented economy under the legal process.
In an interview with Xinhua on the occasion of the 12th Xiamen International Fair for Investment and Trade in the southeast Fujian Province, spokesman Yao Shenhong said the ministry "would review the case of Coca-Cola's acquisition of Huiyuan" and it was against monopoly while supporting "normal economic activities."
"Once we receive the application we will start the antitrust review," Yao told Xinhua.
Coca-Cola Co. said on Sept. 3 it had offered to buy Huiyuan for the equivalent of 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in cash. If successful, it would be the second-largest acquisition in the company's history.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based company said the offer needed to be approved by the Chinese government.
The prospects of approval were unclear with much speculation emerging. In July, China turned down an offer by the Carlyle Group, a U.S.-based private equity company, to acquire Xugong Group Construction Machinery Co.
Both the Office of Anti-monopoly Investigations and Department of Treaty and Law in Ministry of Commerce, and Coca-Cola public affairs director Li Xiaoyun confirmed the company hadn't submitted the application as of Wednesday.
Li said Coke was preparing the required materials and data for the application.
"The review of anti-monopoly has nothing to do with suspicion of monopoly but were simply required when the related companies reached the criterion in the laws," said Li, who also goes by the name Brenda Lee.