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DOJ and SEC extend Microsoft’s bribe investigation

Agencies now looking into some of Microsoft’s Pakistan and Russia deals

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have expanded their ongoing probe into possible Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations by Microsoft.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the DOJ and SEC launched an investigation into some the software giant’s foreign deals, suspecting Microsoft may have bribed foreign officials in China, Romania and Italy in exchange for contracts. Now, the probe is extending to Pakistan and Russia.

The WSJ reports that an anonymous tipster in Russia told company officials that resellers of its software were funneling kickbacks to state-owned company officials. And a second tipster in Pakistan said Microsoft funded a five-day trip to Egypt for a government official and his wife in order to gain business.

Microsoft said it’s taking the allegations and investigation seriously. "We sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners and we investigate them fully regardless of the source," John Frank, a Microsoft deputy GC, said in a statement, according to several news sources. "We also invest heavily in proactive training, monitoring and audits to ensure our business operations around the world meet the highest legal and ethical standards."

The DOJ and SEC declined WSJ’s request for comment, and the agencies have not accused Microsoft of any wrongdoing at this point.

Read more about this story on WSJ.

For more InsideCounsel stories about the FCPA, see:

Judge signs off on IBM foreign bribery settlement

Regulatory: Avoiding an FCPA or anti-bribery charge after uncovering corruption

GlaxoSmithKline admits executives may have violated Chinese law with bribes

Regulatory: Investigating potential bribery means looking beyond the FCPA

DOJ dusts off little-used Travel Act to strengthen FCPA prosecutions


Cathleen Flahardy

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