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Microsoft To Pay $25 Mln To Settle Foreign Bribery Investigation

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has agreed to pay two penalty worth more than $25 million to settle charges with the Department of Justice and SEC regarding violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act arising out of a rigging and bribery scheme.

According to the charges, from 2013 to 2015, senior executives at Microsoft Hungary participated in a scheme to inflate margins in the Microsoft sales channel in connection with the sale of Microsoft software licenses to Hungarian government agencies. The executives also falsely represented to Microsoft that steep discounts were necessary to conclude deals with resellers who bid for the opportunity to sell Microsoft licenses to government customers.

However, the savings were used for corrupt purposes and were falsely recorded as "discounts" and stored in various tools and databases on Microsoft servers in the United States in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The software giant will pay a criminal penalty of $8.75 million to the DOJ, and a second penalty of $16.57 million to the SEC. The two penalties will close a US investigation into Microsoft's Hungarian subsidiary.

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