Report: U.S. government looking into Microsoft for foreign bribery

Two departments of the U.S government, the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are now reportedly looking into claims that Microsoft might have bribed government officials in at least three countries to obtain contracts for software deployments.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says that the DOJ and SEC are looking into claims that Microsoft's China subsidiary offered some kind of kickbacks to government officials in that country in exchange for signing contracts for software. An anonymous tipster alerted the U.S. government to the claims in 2012, according to the report. The same article claims that Microsoft conducted its own investigation, handled by an outside party, on these same allegations in 2010 but had found no wrongdoing in the matter.

The report claims that the government is looking into similar allegations in Romania and in Italy. In the latter case, there are claims Microsoft used a consultant that allegedly gave Italian procurement officials things such as trips and other gifts in exchange for signing on government contracts.

While spokespersons for the SEC and DOJ have not commented on any investigation, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel John Frank said in a statement:

Like every large company with operations around the world we sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners. We cooperate fully in any government inquiries ... We take all allegations seriously and investigate them fully regardless of the source. 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.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Fighting for gay rights to marry each other is way, way more important than fighting against corruption.

"The same article claims that Microsoft conducted its own investigation, handled by an outside party, on these same allegations in 2010 but had found no wrongdoing in the matter"

Wow imagine that! /s

Seriously, maybe US Government needs to focus to fix our Country first before putting their nose into other Countries.

MDboyz said,
Seriously, maybe US Government needs to focus to fix our Country first before putting their nose into other Countries.

This is the governments way of distracting you from internal affairs.

MDboyz said,
Seriously, maybe US Government needs to focus to fix our Country first before putting their nose into other Countries.

I think they've lost interest in fixing our country. Haven't you noticed that Obama never even mentions the economy anymore? He's moved on...

M_Lyons10 said,

I think they've lost interest in fixing our country. Haven't you noticed that Obama never even mentions the economy anymore? He's moved on...

Try watching CNN or BBC International instead of Fox News. Plenty of them there......

Fritzly said,

Try watching CNN or BBC International instead of Fox News. Plenty of them there......


Plenty of what?? LMAO. I watch a lot of news. I am more informed than your average nitwit, implied "false" news stories don't work...

M_Lyons10 said,

Plenty of what?? LMAO. I watch a lot of news. I am more informed than your average nitwit, implied "false" news stories don't work...

Your comments clearly show how well informed you are..... And sure, Fox news is undoubtedly the best source for biased , inaccurate news.

US looking into?

Well I guess they can do what ever they want but that won't really work. If MS is registered in that said country the US can only dream doing something. (Even IF they did)

Lawl...so our government doesn't give a **** about domestic bribery (aka lobbying), you know the thing that affects the people of THIS country. But they care about international bribery?

Pathetic.

You know...in many parts of the world (esp some Asian countries), you can not do much WITHOUT bribing (at least a little bit).
It doesn't make sense to investigate this *from* US...

They should look into domestic bribery first... I know PA ONLY awards contracts to companies that give politicians and government officials large sums of money...

And that's more indicative of a problem with our government than any wrongdoing by companies...

M_Lyons10 said,
I know PA ONLY awards contracts to companies that give politicians and government officials large sums of money...
Yep. I remember reading a story about a company I worked for donating something like $50K to Murtha or Murphy, and lo-and-behold receiving the contract that they wanted.

Corruption at its worst, and unfortunately, while I hate it, I cannot even blame the company for the very same reason that they gave for doing it: playing the game that they are forced to play. When the gate keeper expects bribes in order to open the gate, then you had better pay them.

Politicians doing such things, including Feinstein with her husband's business, and anyone on any side of the aisle, should be made examples of for the sake of scaring any normal peon that might wish to do something similar.

pickypg said,
Yep. I remember reading a story about a company I worked for donating something like $50K to Murtha or Murphy, and lo-and-behold receiving the contract that they wanted.

Corruption at its worst, and unfortunately, while I hate it, I cannot even blame the company for the very same reason that they gave for doing it: playing the game that they are forced to play. When the gate keeper expects bribes in order to open the gate, then you had better pay them.

Politicians doing such things, including Feinstein with her husband's business, and anyone on any side of the aisle, should be made examples of for the sake of scaring any normal peon that might wish to do something similar.


Exactly. And that's how the entire state is run. We are a woman owned business, which in PA is supposed to give us some preference. We have never once gotten a contract because we won't play the game. Instead, companies that bid more get the projects.

thankfully there have been many criminal trials lately bringing this to light, including the truly disgusting Kids for Cash scandal... But it is soooo widespread that it will likely always be a corrupt state. It's become acceptable.

What? Don't the Fed's have bigger problems to deal with? Wait. We had Wall Street after Bush stupid butt lift regulations on Banks, bring down the whole US economy, yet not one ****** went to jail or was prosecuted or even fined. Yet they want to go after Microsoft for something? Our government has it priorities in the wrong place.

I wished for god sake I live in merry ole England or the UK. It seems the Queen understand how a country should be ran. They all look so much happier in Europe.

TechieXP said,
What? Don't the Fed's have bigger problems to deal with? Wait. We had Wall Street after Bush stupid butt lift regulations on Banks, bring down the whole US economy, yet not one ****** went to jail or was prosecuted or even fined. Yet they want to go after Microsoft for something? Our government has it priorities in the wrong place.

I wished for god sake I live in merry ole England or the UK. It seems the Queen understand how a country should be ran. They all look so much happier in Europe.

Bush stupid butt? Who says that?...

Regardless, you badly need to revisit the events of the last 20 years...

TechieXP said,

I wished for god sake I live in merry ole England or the UK. It seems the Queen understand how a country should be ran. They all look so much happier in Europe.

Sarcasm?? The queen does not really do anything, she is just a tourist attraction.

TechieXP said,
What? Don't the Fed's have bigger problems to deal with? Wait. We had Wall Street after Bush stupid butt lift regulations on Banks, bring down the whole US economy, yet not one ****** went to jail or was prosecuted or even fined. Yet they want to go after Microsoft for something? Our government has it priorities in the wrong place.

I wished for god sake I live in merry ole England or the UK. It seems the Queen understand how a country should be ran. They all look so much happier in Europe.


Wow. Your understanding of the events that lead us here is mind bogglingly wrong. How could someone possibly understand so little? Just wow...

Hahaha, you think living in the UK is nice? And living in Europe is good too is it? Because the Euro is just doing wonders for those countries that opted to use it...

And you say England or the UK...I never knew they were different countries D:

I suppose there is a point to this. If it's a foreign subsidiary bribing a foreign bureaucrat of a foreign country, shouldn't the foreign country in question be expending the resources and effort to investigate this?

TechieXP said,
What? Don't the Fed's have bigger problems to deal with? Wait. We had Wall Street after Bush stupid butt lift regulations on Banks, bring down the whole US economy, yet not one ****** went to jail or was prosecuted or even fined. Yet they want to go after Microsoft for something? Our government has it priorities in the wrong place.

If Microsoft has broken the law then it deserves to be investigated and fined if appropriate. That has nothing to do with the government letting banks go unpunished for the financial collapse, which is obviously inexcusable.

theyarecomingforyou said,

If Microsoft has broken the law then it deserves to be investigated and fined if appropriate. That has nothing to do with the government letting banks go unpunished for the financial collapse, which is obviously inexcusable.

What does the US government have to do with an alleged bribery in China? If a Chinese law was broken, it happened in China, let the China government handle it. The US is always being accused of meddling in the affairs of other countries, but when they do it in this case, then it is good?

SoylentG said,
Again I ask, if a law was broken in China, by a Chinese national, with Chinese officials, what does the US government have to do with it?

Because it concerns the behaviour of a US company. Laws are designed to prevent and punish behaviour that is deemed unacceptable by society and bribing foreign officials is considered wrong, surprisingly enough. The US has to maintain relations with other countries and it can't have its companies openly flouting the laws in other countries, as that only encourages foreign firms to retaliate.

At the end of the day the law exists and if Microsoft broke it then it deserves to be punished.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Because it concerns the behaviour of a US company. Laws are designed to prevent and punish behaviour that is deemed unacceptable by society and bribing foreign officials is considered wrong, surprisingly enough. The US has to maintain relations with other countries and it can't have its companies openly flouting the laws in other countries, as that only encourages foreign firms to retaliate.

At the end of the day the law exists and if Microsoft broke it then it deserves to be punished.

It is not up to one government to enforce the laws of another government. If Microsoft is found guilty of violating a Chinese law on Chinese soil, it is up to China to levy a fine and dole out a punishment that Microsoft pays. If is not the job of the US government to be the judge and jury of another country's laws. Microsoft has relations with the EU, Microsoft didn't violate any US law when they did not have a browser ballot screen but they did violate a EU law/agreement. Why didn't the US govt. enforce that law in place of the EU? Microsoft is a US company, by your logic the US should have stepped in and taken the money, keeping it local. Let me guess, the rule of law is different in that case for some reason that applies only to Microsoft.

SoylentG said,
What does the US government have to do with an alleged bribery in China? If a Chinese law was broken, it happened in China, let the China government handle it. The US is always being accused of meddling in the affairs of other countries, but when they do it in this case, then it is good?

The US government is investigating a US company for possibly breaking a US law.

Kyang said,

The US government is investigating a US company for possibly breaking a US law.

The US govt is investigating a foreign subsidiary of a US company for allegedly breaking a US law that you cannot allegedly break a possible law of a foreign country by a foreign national with another foreign national in a foreign country.

Let's suppose the US government does find them guilty. Will they imprison the China official who accepted the bribe? The US apparently thinks they have jurisdiction in another country's affairs, so they should be able imprison that Chinese official, correct? And what happens if China does not hand over the person accepting the bribe? I suggest war, because the US obviously is responsible for making sure that China's laws are followed in China.

BTW, isn't this double jeopardy? If China finds them guilty, and the US government finds them guilty, then Microsoft would be found guilty of the same alleged crime?