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Home Depot Fires Four Merchandising Associates

Chicago, Home Depot Inc. has fired four merchandising associates for violating its ethical standards, and the matter is under investigation by federal authorities, the company said on Wednesday. CBS News reported that four purchasing managers are alleged to have taken kickbacks totaling millions of dollars to make sure that certain flooring products got onto Home Depot's shelves.

The company said in a statement, "The Home Depot has terminated four merchandising associates for infractions of our ethical standards. We're cooperating with authorities and because this matter is under investigation, we can't comment further on the specifics."

It said the matter "does not have a material effect on our consolidated financial conditions or results of operations."

A representative for Home Depot declined to elaborate beyond the company's statement and would not disclose the names of the fired employees.

The company plans to hold its annual merchandising staff meeting on Thursday.

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