HEINEKEN is involved in an antitrust case initiated by the European Commission for particular violations of the European Union competition law.
By decision of 18 April 2007 the European Commission concluded that HEINEKEN and other brewers operating in the Netherlands, restricted
competition in the Dutch market during the period 1996 -1999. This decision follows an investigation by the European Commission that commenced
in March 2000. HEINEKEN fully cooperated with the authorities in this investigation. As a result of its decision, the European Commission imposed
afineon HEINEKEN of EUR219 million in April 2007.
On 4 July 2007 HEINEKEN filed an appeal with the European Court of First Instance against the decision of the European Commission as HEINEKEN
disagrees with the findings of the European Commission. Pending appeal. HEINEKEN was obliged to pay the fine to the European Commission.
This fine was paid in 2007 and was treated as an expense in the 2007 Annual Report.
In its judgment of 16 June 2011 the European Court of First Instance largely upheld the decision of the European Commission. However, the original
fine was reduced by EUR21 million. On 26 August 2011 H EINEKEN appealed with the European Court of Justice against the judgment of the
European Court of First Instance. A final decision is expected in 2013.
As part of the acguisition of the beer operations of FEMSA, HEINEKEN also inherited existing legal proceedings with labour unions, tax authorities and
other parties of its. now wholly-owned, subsidiary Cervejarias Kaiser (Heineken Brazil). The proceedings have arisen in the ordinary course of business
and are common to the current economic and legal environment of Brazil. The proceedings have partly been provided for, see note 30. The contingent
amount being claimed against Heineken Brazil resulting from such proceedings as at 31 December 2011 is EUR848 million. Such contingencies were
classified by legal counsel as less than probable but more than remote of being settled against Heineken Brazil. However, HEINEKEN believes that
the ultimate resolution of such legal proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position or result of operations.
HEINEKEN does not expect any significant liability to arise from these contingencies. A significant part of the aforementioned contingencies
(EUR364 million) are tax related and gualify for indemnification by FEMSA, see note 17.
As is customary in Brazil, Heineken Brazil has been reguested by the tax authorities to collateralise tax contingencies currently in litigation amounting
to EUR280 million by either pledging fixed assets or entering into available lines of credit which cover such contingencies.
Guarantees to banks for loans (to third parties)
Guarantees to banks for loans relate to loans to customers, which are given by external parties in the ordinary course of business of HEINEKEN.
HEINEKEN provides guarantees to the banks to cover the risk related to these loans.
Heineken N.V. Annual Report 2011