DOJ, SEC Investigates Microsoft Over Alleged Bribes To Foreign Officials


Microsoft is being investigated by federal authorities over alleged bribes that took place with foreign government officials in exchange for software deals with the company, according to reports.

The alleged bribes occurred with Chinese officials, who received kickbacks in order to win business in that region, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In a statement, John Frank, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel, said the company is cooperating fully with authorities.

[Related: FalconStor Agrees To $5M Settlement In Founder's Bribery Lawsuit]

"We take all allegations brought to our attention seriously ... 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. We also invest heavily in proactive training, monitoring and audits to ensure our business operations around the world meet the highest legal and ethical standards," Frank said in the statement.

The allegations arose after an anonymous tipster, who used to work for Microsoft and was involved in a labor dispute with the company in China, alerted authorities, according to the newspaper.

The investigation, conducted by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, is in a preliminary stage and reportedly also includes alleged bribes to Romanian and Italian officials, according to the Journal.

Microsoft shares were trading at $28.08 Tuesday afternoon, down 2 cents per share.

PUBLISHED MARCH 19, 2013