U.S. feds said to be investigating Microsoft bribery allegations

“Federal authorities are examining Microsoft’s involvement with companies and individuals that are accused of paying bribes to overseas government officials in exchange for business, according to a person briefed on the inquiry,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times. “The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have both opened preliminary investigations into bribery accusations involving Microsoft in China, Italy and Romania, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is a confidential legal matter.”

“Microsoft’s practices in those countries are being looked at for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law passed in 1977 that prohibits American companies from making payments to government officials and others overseas to further their business interests,” Wingfield reports. “Microsoft joins a list of about 100 other companies under investigation at present related to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to Mike Koehler, a professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and the author of a blog, FCPA Professor, about the anticorruption law. Because companies have such a strong incentive to settle cases of this sort, they rarely end up going to trial.”

Wingfield reports, “The claims in China were first shared with United States officials last year by an unnamed whistle-blower who had worked with Microsoft in the country, according to the person briefed on the inquiry. The whistle-blower said that a Microsoft official in China directed the whistle-blower to pay bribes to government officials to win business deals. After this episode, the whistle-blower had a business conflict with Microsoft, the person added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s in their DNA.

Related articles:
Desperate Microsoft paying developers to port iPhone games to Windows Phone 7 – June 14, 2010
Microsoft tries to ‘bribe’ bloggers with free Acer laptops running Windows Vista – December 28, 2006


  1. When are you lemmings going to figure it out? You create your own hell. Every major company is doing the same thing. Including Apple. Nobody gives a crap about you. Every company, including Apple, just wants. your. money. It’s a game, and you all play it very well, although not to your advantage.

  2. I find it very distressing that MDN is putting Microsoft in such a light. “It’s in their DNA”, I wonder how much Microsoft paid you to put that take up. Now if you had said “It’s in their nuts and bolts” or some other inanimate analogy that would have made more sense.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.