ZDNet is reporting that Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has pled guilty to bribing officials in multiple countries and agreed to pay more than $1 billion in fines.
Ericsson admitted to engaging in a long-standing scheme to bribe officials in China, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Kuwait and Vietnam from 2000 to 2016. The longest campaign was in China, running the full 17 years.
“As part of the settlement, Ericsson entered into a three-year agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to resolve charges of violating the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In the agreement, the DoJ agreed to defer any criminal charges and have them dismissed after the three-year period in exchange for Ericsson paying a fine of almost $521 million.”
Ericsson also settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the tune of $540 million over the same charges. When taken together with the DOJ fines, Ericsson is paying a total of $1.06 billion.
“I am upset by these past failings. Reaching a resolution with the US authorities allows us to close this legacy chapter. We can now move forward and build a stronger company,” Börje Ekholm, Ericsson President and CEO, said.
“The settlement with the SEC and DoJ shows that we have not always met our standards in doing business the right way. This episode shows the importance of fact-based decision making and a culture that supports speaking up and confronting issues. We have worked tirelessly to implement a robust compliance program. This work will never stop.”