SAS Group confirms receipt of Statement of Objections from the EU Commission
SAS Group confirms that it has received a Statement of Objections from the European Commission within the framework of an industry-wide investigation of the air cargo sector, involving a large number of cargo companies and air carriers, including SAS Cargo.
In the Statement of Objections the EU Commission alleges that certain investigated practices in the air cargo sector constitute infringements of EC competition rules. SAS Group intends to review the Statement of Objections immediately and will also have to review the underlying documentation as soon as it has received access to the Commission’s comprehensive investigation file. Therefore SAS cannot comment on the alleged irregularities until this review has been completed.
“Infringement of competition rules is entirely unacceptable and we condemn it unreservedly. SAS has, for many years, had a strict policy in place for compliance with competition rules as well as various control mechanisms. It is very unfortunate and a serious problem if our policy has not been respected by all employees of SAS Cargo. If infringements have occurred I will do my utmost to ensure that this will not occur again,” says SAS Group President & CEO Mats Jansson.
SAS Group has in its financial reports since May 2006 (interim report January – March 2006) disclosed that the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice are conducting investigations regarding possible price coordination in the air cargo industry and that SAS Group is cooperating with the authorities.
“Although we do not know the final outcome in this matter, we have already taken steps and measures to ensure that all of our employees are aware of the importance of complying with our policy. We will also reinforce our ongoing work on compliance with competition rules in all parts of the Group through extra training for our staff and by introducing more control mechanisms”, says Mats Jansson.
As the next step in this process, SAS will provide the EU Commission with written comments to the allegations set out in the Statement of Objections. It is not possible to predict the outcome of the investigations for SAS Group and what the financial impact will be until SAS has had the opportunity to review the details of the Statement of Objections. The EU Commission’s final judgment of this matter is not expected to be known before late in 2008.
A more comprehensive statement on how SAS views the allegations and how they are expected to impact the SAS Group will be issued as soon as the Statement of Objections has been reviewed in detail by SAS. This statement will be issued no later than in conjunction with the presentation of SAS Group’s 2007 year-end report in February 2008.For further information, please contact
Claus Sonberg, EVP SAS Group Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, +46 70 997 1660
SAS Group Corporate Communications