Coca-cola could be accused of breaking anti-trust rules following a four year investigation by the European Commission into alleged discounts the soft drinks giant offered to retailers in the 1990s.

The Financial Times said the investigation centres on “fidelity bonuses” or price rebates offered by Coke to retailers for a set volume of its products, in return for favourable treatment from retailers for Coca-Cola's products over those of its rivals.

The paper reported that although the original probe focused on the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark and Belgium, the Commission could decide to proceed on evidence from just two countries and leave the others until a later date.

EU regulators could fine Coca-Cola up to 10% of its worldwide turnover, the paper said, but because of the length of time elapsed since the alleged offenses a less severe penalty was likely.