Microsoft pays $25M to settle corruption charges

Microsoft is paying more than $25 million to settle federal corruption charges that stem from a bribery scheme in Hungary, as well as other foreign offices, U.S. officials said.

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The tech giant will pay about $16.6 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement. In addition, the commission said it also found improprieties at Microsoft offices in Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.

The Hungarian bid-rigging and bribery scheme will also result in an additional $8.75 million criminal fine, the Justice Department said.

From 2013 through 2015, a senior executive and other employees at Microsoft's Hungary office took part in a scheme to "inflate margins in the Microsoft sales channel" in connection with Microsoft software licenses sold to Hungarian government agencies, federal prosecutors said.


The prosecutors also said savings were falsely recorded as discounts and used for corrupt purposes.

In a letter to employees, Microsoft President Brad Smith said the misconduct was "completely unacceptable" and involved a small number of employees. He also outlined changes to prevent public sector discounts from being used improperly.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.