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Microsoft To Pay $25.3 Mln Fine To Settle Foreign Bribery Case

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) agreed to pay $25.3 million to settle an investigation into potential violations of a law prohibiting the bribery of foreign government officials.

The company settled the alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations by four Microsoft subsidiaries in separate agreements with the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The SEC and Justice Department investigation found that a Microsoft subsidiary in Hungary had used discounts on software licenses to fund bribes intended for foreign officials, the government said. The Hungarian subsidiary has entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department.

In Saudi Arabia and Thailand, two other Microsoft subsidiaries provided illegal gifts and travel benefits to government officials through a slush fund, according to the SEC. A Turkish subsidiary illegally provided excessive discounts to a third party without properly recording the transaction.

Microsoft Hungary agreed to pay a criminal penalty of more than $8.7 million to resolve the government's investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Microsoft also agreed to pay to the SEC disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling about $16.57 million for conduct in Hungary.

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