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US probes Microsoft bribery case

india Updated: Mar 20, 2013 20:39 IST
Nick Wingfield
Nick Wingfield
Agencies
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Federal authorities are examining Microsoft’s involvement with companies and individuals accused of paying bribes to overseas government officials for business, said a person briefed on the inquiry.

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have both opened preliminary investigations into bribery accusations involving Micr-osoft in China, Italy and Romania, the source said.

Microsoft’s practices are under scrutiny for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law passed in 1977 to prohibit US firms from paying government officials and others overseas to further their business interests.

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the investigations on Tuesday.
Michael Passman, a Justice Department spokesman, said the office had a policy of not confirming or denying existence of investigations. An SEC spokesman declined comment.

The Obama administration has placed a renewed focus on corporate bribery overseas, taking an increasingly aggressive approach as problems mounted. NYT