– Keroche Breweries Ltd has accused the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) of using its dominance to stifle competition
– EABL put up an advert in one of the local dailies announcing an alleged injunction to stop the brewer from using the international Euro bottles
– The Keroche Distributors Association said the bottle existed before the two companies came into place
– The company said it would go to court to challenge EABL for engraving a mark on a bottle they do not own
Two alcohol manufacturers in the country are engaged in a vicious fight over bottles used to package the drink which is arguably in high demand during the December festive season.
Keroche Breweries has accused the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) of using its dominance to stifle competition after the latter put up an advert in one of the local dailies announcing an alleged injunction to stop it from using the international Euro bottles to package its Summit Lager, KB Lager and Viena Ice alcohol brands.
In a press release to the media on Friday, December 20, the Keroche Distributors Association said the bottle existed before the two companies came into place and as such EABL cannot lay claim to it.
“The Euro bottle does not belong to anyone. It is a universal bottle. The brown beer bottles are not available to any beer manufacturer to patent or pretend to trademark. We are going to court to challenge EABL for engraving the mark EABL on a bottle they do not own,” the statement read.
The East African Breweries had alleged in the advert some of competitors were using its trademark bottles to package alcoholic drinks.
“Notice is hereby given to all persons dealing in EABL engraved bottles or packaging non-EABL alcoholic beverages in an EABL engraved bottle that this action is in contravention of the law and court order,” part of the advert read.
In a quick rejoinder, Keroche said EABL was trying to monopolise the market and will not allow such in a free country like Kenya.
“EABL and Diageo, their foreign owner should realise the era of monopolies is over in Kenya. Putting the EABL mark on a brown Euro bottle can only be done in a country where people don’t know their rights. You cannot put your mark on a bottle you did not create and do not own. The brown Euro bottles EABL and Keroche are using existed before the two companies were even created,” it added.
The company said EABL’s release of the injuction during the busy festive season was suspicious.
“The timing is highly suspicious. It is Christmass and this is the high season for alcohol purchase. Kenyans should note that the EABL notice posted today states that the order was obtained in 2017. Why release it 2 years later?
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