Note 10: Commitments and Contingencies
In conjunction with certain transactions, primarily divestitures, we may provide routine indemnifications (e.g., indemnification for representations and warranties and retention of previously existing environmental, tax and employee liabilities) which terms range in duration and in some circumstances are not explicitly defined. The maximum obligation under some indemnifications is also not explicitly stated and, as a result, the overall amount of these obligations cannot be reasonably estimated. Other than obligations recorded as liabilities at the time of divestiture, we have not made significant payments for these indemnifications. We believe that if we were to incur a loss on any of these matters, the loss would not have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
In certain situations, we guarantee loans for suppliers and customers. The total amount of guarantees issued under such arrangements is not material.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not have off-balance sheet financing arrangements, including variable interest entities, that have a material impact on our financial statements.
We have purchase commitments for materials, supplies, services and property, plant and equipment as part of the normal course of business. Commitments made under take-or-pay obligations are as follows: 2010 — $1,258; 2011 — $872; 2012 — $787; 2013 — $525; 2014 — $156; and $299 thereafter. Such amounts represent future purchases in line with expected usage to obtain favorable pricing. Approximately 43% of our purchase commitments relate to service contracts for information technology, human resources management and facilities management activities that have been outsourced to third-party suppliers. Due to the proprietary nature of many of our materials and processes, certain supply contracts contain penalty provisions for early termination. We do not expect to incur penalty payments under these provisions that would materially affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
We lease certain property and equipment for varying periods. Future minimum rental commitments under noncancelable operating leases are as follows: 2010 — $305; 2011 — $272; 2012 — $223; 2013 — $202; 2014 — $176; and $442 thereafter. Operating lease obligations are shown net of guaranteed sublease income.
We are subject to various legal proceedings and claims arising out of our business which cover a wide range of matters such as governmental regulations, antitrust and trade regulations, product liability, patent and trademark matters, income taxes and other actions.
As previously disclosed, the Company is subject to a variety of investigations into potential competition law violations in Europe, including investigations initiated in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 by the European Commission with the assistance of national authorities from a variety of countries. We believe these matters involve a number of other consumer products companies and/or retail customers. The Company’s policy is to comply with all laws and regulations, including all antitrust and competition laws, and to cooperate with investigations by relevant regulatory authorities, which the Company is doing. Competition and antitrust law inquiries often continue for several years and, if violations are found, can result in substantial fines. In other industries, fines have amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars. At this point, no significant formal claims have been made against the Company or any of our subsidiaries in connection with any of the above inquiries.
In response to the actions of the European Commission and national authorities, the Company has launched its own internal investigations into potential violations of competition laws, some of which are ongoing. The Company has identified violations in certain European countries and appropriate actions are being taken. It is still too early for us to reasonably estimate the fines to which the Company will be subject as a result of these competition law issues. However, the ultimate resolution of these matters will likely result in fines or other costs that could materially impact our income statement and cash flows in the period in which they are accrued and paid, respectively. As these matters evolve the Company will, if necessary, recognize the appropriate reserves.
With respect to other litigation and claims, while considerable uncertainty exists, in the opinion of management and our counsel, the ultimate resolution of the various lawsuits and claims will not materially affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
We are also subject to contingencies pursuant to environmental laws and regulations that in the future may require us to take action to correct the effects on the environment of prior manufacturing and waste disposal practices. Based on currently available information, we do not believe the ultimate resolution of environmental remediation will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Amounts in millions of dollars except per share amounts or as otherwise specified.