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The Most Epic Business Feuds Of All Time

The coke v Pepsi feud illustrated by two knights jousting

Competition and business go hand in hand, as do feuds between companies.

But sometimes two companies become immersed in business feuds that divide customers as much as brands themselves.

This creates a lot of drama and a compelling battle which often lasts for many, many years.

Here are some of the biggest business feuds in history.

READ MORE: How “New Coke” Led To 400,000 Complaints And A Quick Reversal

Coca-Cola vs Pepsi

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The cola wars have lasted well over a century.

Coca-Cola was first introduced in 1886 and Pepsi following not long after in 1898.

The most infamous era of the rivalry came in the 1970s and 1980s.

This was because Pepsi gained ground through its Pepsi Challenge ad campaign, featuring blind taste tests.

The Pepsi Challenge also pushed Coca-Cola into what looked like a horror show with its disastrous "New Coke."

The backlash that followed, and the re-launch of Coca-Cola Classic, attracted huge publicity.

This ended up leaving Coke as the number one spot in the cola market, where it remains today.

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Ferrari vs Lamborghini

In the 1950s, in Italy, Enzo Ferrari was in charge of his famous sports car company while Ferruccio Lamborghini was running a tractor business.

Things may have stayed that way if Lamborghini had not been unhappy with his new Ferrari engine and clutch.

Lamborghini thought he knew how the sports car could be improved.

So, he took his concerns to Enzo Ferrari himself.

But Ferrari said that there was nothing wrong with the car, and told him to stick to tractors.

Lamborghini decided to get his own back, building his own car factory and unveiling the first Lamborghini sports car- the 350 GTV, in the early 1960s.

The rest is history, with the two companies continuing to produce enormously expensive and hugely powerful supercars to this day.

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Burger King vs McDonald's

The two fast-food giants have spent ridiculous sums trying to outdo each other in their advertising for decades.

Burger King caught the public’s imagination with its "Silly Whopper" campaign in the 2000s, which involved showing its larger burger struggling to fit in its rival’s box.

Burger King even used Ronald McDonald in some TV adverts.

One features him sneaking into one of its branches.

But McDonald’s has not been scared to hit back.

It used a road sign with an impossibly long list of directions to the nearest Burger King in a 2016 advert.

The message was “McDonald’s is closer to you.”

Microsoft vs Apple

The battle has been raging for decades.

Steve Jobs took regular aim at Microsoft in his time at the helm of Apple.

He accused them of having no taste in the 1990s and putting the boot in with his company’s famous "Get a Mac" campaign in the 2000s.

Bill Gates and Microsoft sometimes hit back.

Gates called Jobs "fundamentally odd" and said his rival knew little about technology.

But the two occasionally managed to get along.

The Microsoft founder even appeared in Mac adverts in the 1980s. 

Recently Gates revealed he had spent time with Steve Jobs at home before the Apple entrepreneur’s death in 2011.

Samsung vs Apple

The rivalry between Samsung and Apple is barely a decade old.

But that hasn't stopped it from becoming "one of the bloodiest corporate wars in history".

Things blew up when Samsung launched its first smartphone in 2009.

It sparked fury at Apple, with the company accusing its South Korean rival of copying the iPhone.

The two firms battled it out in the courts and in ad campaigns.

The two phones are still going head to head 12 years later as they compete for global dominance.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2020, Samsung was coming out on top, commanding 22 percent of the smartphone market with 80.4 million shipments.

Apple trailed in fourth place behind Huawei and Xiaomi with 11 percent of the market, representing 41.7 million iPhone shipments.

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PlayStation vs Xbox

Feuds between the makers of games consoles have rumbled on for as long as there have been consoles.

One of the biggest feuds in more recent times has been between Microsoft and Sony in the contest between the Xbox and the PlayStation.

Fans are often fiercely loyal to one or the other, but Sony looks like it is winning the war as the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, and the original PlayStation make up the top three best-selling gaming consoles of all time, according to digitaltrends.com, with 365 million sales between them.

The Xbox 360 comes in at sixth with 85 million sales.

That has not stopped the odd love-in between its leaders, such as when they wished each other luck with their latest launches in 2013.

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