The principal antitrust proceedings in which the Group’s companies are involved are described below.
Refining & Chemicals segment
As part of the spin-off of Arkema(1) in 2006, TOTAL S.A. and certain other Group companies agreed to grant Arkema for a period of ten years a guarantee for potential monetary consequences related to antitrust proceedings arising from events prior to the spin-off. As of December 31, 2013, all public and civil proceedings covered by the guarantee were definitively resolved in Europe and in the United States. Despite the fact that Arkema has implemented since 2001 compliance procedures that are designed to prevent its employees from violating antitrust provisions, it is not possible to exclude the possibility that the relevant authorities could commence additional proceedings involving Arkema regarding events prior to the spin-off.
Marketing & Services segment
- Following the appeal lodged by the Group’s companies against the European Commission’s 2008 decision fining Total Marketing Services an amount of €128.2 million in relation to practices regarding a product line of the Marketing & Services segment, which the company had already paid, and concerning which TOTAL S.A. was declared jointly liable as the parent company, the relevant European court decided during the third quarter of 2013 to reduce the fine imposed on Total Marketing Services to €125.5 million without modifying the liability of TOTAL S.A. as parent company. Appeals have been lodged against this judgment.
- In the Netherlands, a civil proceeding was initiated against TOTAL S.A., Total Marketing Services and other companies by third parties alleging damages in connection with practices already sanctioned by the European Commission. At this stage, the plaintiffs have still not communicated the amount of their claim. – Finally, in Italy, in 2013, a civil proceeding was initiated against TOTAL S.A. and its subsidiary Total Aviazione Italia Srl before the competent Italian civil court. The plaintiff claims against TOTAL S.A., its subsidiary and other third parties, damages that it estimates to be nearly €908 million. This proceeding follows practices that had been sanctioned by the Italian competition authority in 2006. The proceeding has not progressed; the existence and the assessment of the alleged damages in this proceeding involving multiple defendants remain strongly contested.
Whatever the evolution of the proceedings described above, the Group believes that their outcome should not have a material adverse effect on the Group’s financial situation or consolidated results.
(1) Arkema is used in this section to designate those companies of the Arkema group whose ultimate parent company is Arkema S.A. Arkema became an independent company after being spun-off from TOTAL S.A. in May 2006.