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By Jason Stipp | 10-08-2010 03:00 PM

Sizing Up Five Rivalries

Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser gives the blow-by-blow on recent showdowns between Coke and Pepsi, Apple and Google, Facebook and Twitter, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar and welcome to Friday Five.

Ohio State versus Michigan. Batman versus the Joker. Jif versus Skippy.

If you can't tell, it's rivalry week on the Friday Five. We've got five rivalrous headlines that we're going to talk to you about today, and joining me fresh back from sabbatical is Morningstar markets editor, Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, welcome back.

Jeremy Glaser: Thanks Jason. Glad to be here.

Stipp: So what do you have for the Friday Five this week?

Glaser: Well, we're going to take a look at some competition between Pepsi and Coke, between AT&T and Verizon, Apple and Google, private and public markets, and finally we'll take a look at our social network showdown.

Stipp: Well, I'm thinking way back in my memory, I remember the Coke/Pepsi challenge. What's going on with Coke and Pepsi this week?

Glaser: Yeah, Jason, as you know, Coke and Pepsi are some of the longest-standing corporate rivals in America. Pepsi really upped the ante when they bought their bottlers. They said they were going to get all of these efficiencies and synergies in being able to control the distribution and get new products out to market faster.

And when they announced third-quarter results, it seems like that's actually the case. Pepsi was able to release a new line of Gatorade products that really gained some traction, helped them shore up with their somewhat struggling North American beverage business.

But with all great competitions, Coke wasn't just going to stand still. They announced that they were going to buy their bottlers, and this week that deal actually closed and they're going to be able to get some of the same efficiencies that Pepsi has.

So this is definitely a short-term advantage for Pepsi. But is this something that they can turn into a long-term competitive advantage over Coke in the beverage space? In time, we'll have to see.

Stipp: Big rivals in the telecom space, AT&T and Verizon were in the news because the iPhone will be available to Verizon starting next year. Is that going to be a game-changer for these two rivals?

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