We are energy-hungry consumers, and not just for gasoline and electricity. The market demand for caffeinated and energy-drink consumables has steadily risen worldwide over the last several years, something Coca-Cola’s astute legal team has been paying attention to, as evidenced by their recent agreement to purchase 17 percent of Monster Beverage Corp., the company responsible for the wildly popular carbonated beverage that promises to turn your body into a monster. Not literally of course, but in terms of providing bounding energy, it’s a hope millions of consumers are snapping open and gulping down, according to this article online. Coca-Cola might be getting more than they’re bargaining for, according to some merger & acquisition attorneys in San Antonio watching the deal unfold, as the New York Attorney General is going after Monster pretty hard, probing into the company’s marketing practices.
“Energy-drink makers have faced scrutiny by regulators over their marketing practices since 2012,” which is, interestingly, the year that New York’s AG Eric Schneiderman first started issuing subpoenas for energy drink companies. Largely because of the potential risks of excessive consumption by young people or those with heart conditions, the Food and Drug Administration is keenly interested in investigating—and eventually—regulating and controlling the industry. And it’s no surprise that ground zero for this movement is in New York, where in 2013, size limits were imposed on the sale of sweetened beverages at restaurants, fast-food joints, movie theaters and sports stadiums. The place is big on health, and big on rules, it would seem. But would such a lawsuit ever happen in Texas? Merger and acquisition attorneys in San Antonio don’t think so.
Besides being exceptionally fond of its lack of regulatory statutes or their enforcement (some of which may be to the detriment of human lives), this quibble over caffeine is something most Texas officials would probably see as frivolous. And if the suit does prove troublesome for the company, it might just receive an invitation to relocate to the Lone Star State, with promises of lower taxes and more freedom from irksome rules, as Siracha did. But however you slice it, as merger and acquisition attorneys in San Antonio acknowledge, Coca-Cola can probably handle whatever complications it shoulders when taking on the 17 percent of Monster Energy.
So what’s the big deal with the beverage anyway? Attorney General Schneiderman is accusing Monster of being involved in “deceptive and illegal marketing,” that could contribute to health risks and even deaths by the public. The testimony Schneiderman seeks is that of a Florida-based employee whose unit promotes the drink to college students on campus, “promoting the consumption of Monster with alcohol” when it has been associated with “serious health risks.”
Monster’s petition to block the subpoena appears to contain some good points, though, at least to the public eye (which may view the matter differently than someone with legal training, like the merger & acquisition attorneys in San Antonio watching the case). No federal or state law or regulation “makes it illegal to sell Monster or market it to any age group or promote the sale of the beverage as a mixer for alcohol.” And besides, Monster claims, they’ve been the first company to “label its products indicating that the drink should be consumed responsibly and isn’t recommended for children, caffeine-sensitive people or women who are pregnant or nursing.” “What else do you want from us?” they seemed to say. Our guess is Coca-Cola will soon find out.