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Monday, October 4, 2010 - 4:47am

Coke Finalizes Sale With Bottler

Coca-Cola has completed its $3.4 billion buyout of the North American operations of its largest bottler.

The world's largest soft drink maker said Sunday it has closed the deal for the domestic unit of Coca-Cola Enterprises.

The bottler's shareholders approved the deal on Friday. Earlier in the week regulators approved the sale with conditions, namely that Coca-Cola restrict its access to business information from rival Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

Some of Dr Pepper's drinks are bottled by Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Coca-Cola announced the deal in February, just after PepsiCo Inc. made a similar move. Coca-Cola's deal includes assuming $8.8 billion in debt.

Soft drink makers want more control over distribution as they deal with changing consumer tastes.