A federal grand jury has subpoenaed from the Coca-Cola Co. all documents related to its 1986 sales agreement with the Soviet Union as part of an investigation into possible bribery, it was reported Saturday.
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, in their combined Saturday editions, quoted unidentified sources as saying the grand jury in Atlanta was trying to determine whether Coca-Cola bribed people in the Soviet Union to get permission to sell Coke there.A federal prosecutor refused to confirm or deny the report, and a spokesman for the Atlanta-based company branded any allegation of wrongoing by Coke as "ridiculous."
The newspapers said sources would not say what precipitated the investigation, and they characterized the inquiry as in its early stages.
The 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits Americans from bribing foreign officials or political parties to get business in other countries.
U.S. Attorney Robert Barr would not discuss the report with the newspapers. He did not return a telephone message from The Associated Press Saturday asking him for comment.
"Any allegation of wrongdoing related to our business with the Soviet Union is ridiculous. It does not even warrant a denial," Coke spokesman Randy Donaldson told the AP.