Athens, Greece – 22 June 2005 - The European Commission announced today that it had adopted a Commitment Decision concerning the commercial practices of the Coca‑Cola system in the European Economic Area.
The Decision taken today is based on an Undertaking that The Coca‑Cola Company, Coca‑Cola HBC and other major European bottlers filed with the Commission in October 2004. Today’s Decision, which follows consultation with the European Commission and the National Competition Authorities of the EU Member States, completes that procedure. The Undertaking will apply across 27 countries in Europe, in those channels of distribution where the carbonated soft drinks of The Coca‑Cola Company account for over 40% of national sales and twice the nearest competitor’s share.
Mr. Doros Constantinou, Managing Director of Coca‑Cola HBC, commented: “Today’s announcement marks the conclusion of a six-year investigation, throughout which we have been committed to a constructive dialogue with the Commission Services and to finding solutions that would meet the Commission’s concerns. The Commission’s Commitment Decision, which follows the draft undertaking that we submitted last October to former Commissioner Monti who deemed it a sufficient basis for a settlement, brings clarity to the application of European competition rules to our commercial practices in the European Economic Area. We welcome that Decision.”
For a copy of the full document of the EU undertaking, please visit our website, www.coca-colahbc.com
Coca‑Cola HBC is one of the world's largest bottlers of products of The Coca‑Cola Company and has operations in 26 countries serving a population of approximately 540 million people. CCHBC shares are listed on the Athens Exchange (ATHEX: EEEK), with secondary listings on the London (LSE: CCB) and Australian (ASX: CHB) Stock Exchanges. CCHBC’s American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CCH).
Coca‑Cola HBC – Investor Relations
Tel: +30 210 618 3100
European Press Contact:
Financial Dynamics Athens
Tel: (+30) 210 725 8194
Mobile: (+30) 694 775 2284
US Press Contact:
Financial Dynamics US
Tel: +1 212 850 5600
Coca‑Cola HBC’s website is located at www.coca-colahbc.com.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including with respect to the application of European competition rules to our commercial practices in the European Economic Area, that involve risks and uncertainties. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they reflect our current expectations and assumptions as to future events and circumstances that may not prove accurate for many reasons, including the risks described in our annual report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (File No 1-31466). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that they will meet these expectations. Moreover, neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking statements. Unless we are required by law to update these statements, we will not necessarily update any of these statements after the date of this press release to conform them to changes in our expectations.