Cadbury Schweppes division Dr Pepper/Seven Up has filed a lawsuit against rival PepsiCo, accusing it of anti- competitive practices in the US market. Dr Pepper is claiming that an exclusive distribution deal between Pepsi and the Tricon restaurant chain has unfairly cut off Cadbury Schweppes' routes to market for Seven Up. Dr Pepper alleges Pepsi offered discounts to Tricon to stock Pepsi brands on an exclusive basis in selected Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC outlets in the US. This was interfering with arrangements between the Tricon chain and Dr Pepper for Seven Up. Cadbury Schweppes contends that the deal violates antitrust laws and restricts consumer choice. A spokeswoman for the company said that it had only gradually become suspicious of PepsiCo's activities over the last 18 months, as the number of Tricon restaurants stocking Seven Up had steadily dwindled from more than 5,000 to about 2,200. A PepsiCo spokesman said: "We have every confidence that this suit is without merit." {{NEWS }}