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California Pizza Kitchen recently terminated its purchase agreement for fountain drinks with PepsiCo. PepsiCo. then allegedly sent its confidential agreement to Coca-Cola in an attempt to interfere with the pizza chain's business, according to Courthouse News.
The move triggered a lawsuit from CPK. The chain has sued Pepsico Sales in Superior Court in California, claiming that "when it told Pepsi it was ending its supply agreement for fountain drinks, Pepsi intentionally emailed the agreement to Coca-Cola 'as part of Pepsi's attempt to prevent CPK from engaging in future business with Pepsi's rival.'"
CPK claims it terminated its agreement with Pepsi in April.
The chain's complaint states: "Pepsi immediately wrote in response that it was not willing to terminate the Fountain Agreement and that, if CPK was not willing to continue under the Fountain Agreement, Pepsi would pursue legal action against CPK to recover alleged damages in excess of $5 million."
CPK alleges that, despite a non-disclosure covenant in the agreement, Pepsi copied the Coca-Cola Company on its correspondence.
CPK claims it has had long-term concerns about its carbonated soft drink sales, which have been experiencing year-over-year declines. The chain says Pepsi was "unable to identify effective solutions for reversing" these trends.
Pepsi became CPK's exclusive fountain drink supplier in 2007. The pizza chain is seeking damages for breach of contract and "tortuous interference."
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