Report: US government expanding bribery probe involving Microsoft

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. government was looking into allegations of possible bribery involving Microsoft representatives in other countries in exchange for contracts. Today, the paper is reporting that probe has expanded to include similar claims in two more countries.

According to the new report, using unnamed sources, one tipster claimed that in Russia, kickbacks were sent to executives of an unnamed state-owned company to secure a contract from resellers of Microsoft's software. Another tipster claims that a consulting firm, with approval from Microsoft, gave a Pakistan government official and his wife a five-day golf trip to Egypt in exchange for a contract.

The Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into both of these new claims, according to the report. These are on top of the previous allegations that government officials in China, Romania and Italy also received kickbacks from people who were reportedly working for Microsoft. The company has also reportedly launched its own internal investigation into the matter.

Neither the Justice Department nor the SEC have officially commented on any investigation into Microsoft's overseas business practices. In a statement posted in March, John Frank, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel, said, "We sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners and we investigate them fully regardless of the source."

Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via Microsoft

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