IBM pays $10 million to settle bribery complaint

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 2:43 PM
IBM pays $10 million to settle bribery complaint

NEW YORK (Reuters) - IBM has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a complaint its employees tried to bribe South Korean and Chinese officials with cash, gifts and entertainment in return for business for more than a decade.

The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission alleged employees of IBM Korea and a local joint venture with LG Electronics paid around $207,000 in bribes to South Korean government officials, according to court documents on Friday.

IBM employees in China also provided gifts, overseas trips and entertainment to Chinese government officials, it said.

The violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act took place between 1998 through 2009, the SEC said in the complaint.

The two sides, however, settled with IBM paying a civil penalty of $2 million plus $8 million in other payments, according to a separate court document. IBM did not admit or deny the allegations, it said.

Spokesmen at Armonk, New York-based IBM were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando, editing by Matthew Lewis)