The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are investigating Microsoft’s relationship with business partners who allegedly bribed foreign government officials in return for software contracts.
Reportedly, the allegations were made by a former Microsoft representative in China, as well as certain re-sellers and consultants in Romania and Italy.
In 2008, a probe was conducted because a Chinese tipster alleged that a Microsoft executive offered kickbacks to Chinese officials for signing software contracts. The probe found no wrong doing.
This new issue comes from an “anonymous tipster” who passed along this information to US investigators in 2012.
Microsoft has released a statement tonight saying “We take all allegations brought to our attention seriously, and we cooperate fully in any government inquiries. 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, compliance systems, monitoring and audits to ensure our business operations around the world meet the highest legal and ethical standards,” Microsoft’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, John Frank stated.
Frank admits that allegations are made from time to time due to the large size of the company. “It is also possible there will sometimes be individual employees or business partners who violate our policies and break the law. In a community of 98,000 people and 640,000 partners, it isn’t possible to say there will never be wrongdoing,” Frank adds. Microsoft is committed to compliance and will cooperate with the government to resolve this issue.