As announced in December 2004, the French competition authority commenced an investigation of Adecco France and certain of its competitors in late 2004. Two of the French subsidiaries, the former Adecco Travail Temporaire (now Adecco France SASU) and Adia SAS (now Adia SASU), have received a Statement of Objections alleging violations of competition rules. According to the statement Adecco Travail Temporaire has been involved in exchanges of commercially sensitive information with competitors in 2003 and 2004. Adecco Travail Temporaire and Adia SAS allegedly have also been involved in a concerted practice in response to one tender offer of a French company.
A Statement of Objections is a legal step in proceedings under French competition law. This step does not prejudge the outcome of the matter as the parties will have full access to the file and the right to respond to the council's objections and to present their views in a formal hearing.
Adecco will carefully analyze the allegations made in the Statement of Objections and the conclusion reached therein and intends to respond as appropriate. Adecco has been advised that in comparable cases in the past, where the allegations were found to be warranted by the facts, the French Competition Council has issued fines, which would not be material to the Adecco Group. However, there can be no assurance that the ultimate resolution of this matter will not have a material adverse effect on the consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows of the Adecco Group.
The Adecco Group adheres to high ethical and business compliance standards. Antitrust compliance and fair competitive behaviour are part of Adecco's 'Code of Business Conduct' and Adecco is strongly opposed to any violations and misbehaviour. The investigations of the competition authorities are limited to the two French subsidiaries and certain of their competitors in the French market.
Information in this release may involve guidance, expectations, beliefs, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements included in this release are based on information available to Adecco S.A. as of the date of this release, and we assume no duty to update any such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations. Numerous factors could cause or contribute to such differences. Factors that could affect the Company's forward-looking statements include, among other things: global GDP trends and the demand for temporary work; changes in regulation of temporary work; intense competition in the markets in which the Company competes; changes in the Company's ability to attract and retain qualified temporary personnel; the resolution of the French anti-trust investigation and the resolution of the US class action; and any adverse developments in existing commercial relationships, disputes or legal and tax proceedings.
Adecco Group is the world market leader in Human Resource services with sales of EUR 20.4 billion in 2006. The Adecco network connects over 700,000 associates with clients each day through its network of 37,000 employees (FTE's) and 7,000 offices in over 60 countries and territories around the world. Headquartered in Switzerland, and managed by a multinational team with expertise in markets spanning the globe, Adecco delivers an unparalleled range of flexible staffing solutions and career services to clients and associates.
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