Coca-Cola Settles Dispute With Vending-Machine Servicer

ATLANTA (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS) -

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and a company that makes it possible for consumers to use a debit or credit card to buy a vending-machine beverage have settled a dispute over nearly $1 million in fees collected from the machines.

Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Inc. and USA Technologies Inc. said they have resolved the billing dispute, but did not provide details.

In a federal lawsuit filed last August in Atlanta, CCR, the U.S. bottling and fountain operations of Coca-Cola, said Malvern, Pa.-based USA Technologies failed to disconnect its card-reading devices on Coke vending machines and continued to collect monthly fees as if it were still servicing the devices and processing transactions.

USA Technologies received 5 percent of a vending machine’s monthly proceeds as a service fee and then “a percentage” for processing transactions after soft drinks were purchased, according to the suit. The remainder of the “cash-free revenue” was turned over to CCR, the suit said.

In a statement, CCR called USA Technologies “a valid, authorized supplier to Coca-Cola Refreshments and the Coca-Cola system.”