Which is what what Bloomberg reports in a later update to its original report referenced above (emphasis mine):
Monster shopped itself to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) a year ago, and both beverage companies passed on an acquisition, citing the cost of a deal, said a person familiar with the matter. A few months ago, Coca-Cola and Monster spoke again about a deal, said the person, who asked not to be named because the talks were private. Coca-Cola again decided Monster was too expensive and pressed to start talks about an expanded partnership that could lead to a small stake sale to Coca-Cola, said the person.
Somebody’s wrong. It’s either Bloomberg, its “person familiar with the matter,” and Coke’s PR department or it’s the Journal and its “people familiar with the matter.” That anonymous sourcing, standard issue in M&A reporting, makes it much harder for readers, investors, and media critics to determine who’s amiss.
But the market, for what it’s worth, is betting it’s the Journal.