Microsoft to work with government bribery probe

Allegations that its partners had engaged in bribery outside the United States are being taken seriously by Microsoft Corp. and the software company said it will cooperate with government investigation into the matter.

“We take these allegations brought to our attention seriously and we cooperate fully in any government inquiry,” said John Frank, VP and deputy general counsel for Microsoft in a blog post today. “The matters raised in the Wall Street Journal are important and it is appropriate that both Microsoft and the government review them.”

On Tuesday, the newspaper Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Microsoft for possible bribery committed by the software developer’s representatives in China. The paper also said that government investigators were looking into Microsoft’s relationship with some resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy.

Although, he said he could not comment on on-going inquiries, Frank asked readers to consider that such investigations are not uncommon among large conglomerates.

Microsoft operates in 112 countries, has nearly 98,000 employees and 640,000 business partners around the world.

“Like other large companies with operations around the world, we sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners, and we investigate them fully regardless of the source,” he said. “…It is also possible that there will sometimes be individual employees of business partners who violate our policies and break the law.”

He said Microsoft invests heavily in training, monitoring and audits to make sure its business operations around the world “meet with the highest legal and ethical standards.”


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