Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WalMart/Microsoft Bribery Scandals - Tip of Iceberg?

Saw this this morning
SEATTLE – Whether Microsoft actually gets prosecuted for bribery relating to contracts in China, Romania and Italy may hinge on the "something of value" the software giant may have bestowed on an executive or official to influence his or her discharging of public or legal duties.

The Wall Street Journal, using unnamed sources, reported today that the software giant is the subject of a preliminary investigation to determine if it violated the legal definition of bribery. (The Justice Department did not respond to a phone call and e-mail message for comment.)
And it made me think of this:
NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s CEO Mike Duke found out in 2005 that the retailer's Mexico unit was handing out bribes to local officials, according to emails obtained by lawmakers.

The lawmakers say the emails contradict earlier claims by Wal-Mart that executives weren't aware of bribes being made by the company.

Democratic Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings and Henry A. Waxman, who are investigating bribery charges at Wal-Mart's Mexico division, on Thursday released emails that indicate that Duke and other senior Wal-Mart officials were informed multiple times starting in 2005 about bribes being made in the country. U.S. law forbids American companies from bribing foreign officials.

BOTH – ALEC Corporate Profit Members until the Trayvon Martin / Voter ID scandals.
As long as the American Legislative Exchange Council could do their nasty stuff in secret, without media coverage – Microsoft and WalMart were OK with their memberships in ALEC.

But that isn’t the point.
The point is:
Do you really think these companies are too ethical to bribe state legislators, – at private meetings – behind closed doors at a luxurious and posh resort -  in order to get legislation introduced that helps their bottom line?
If your answer is yes, I have some oceanfront property to sell you in Minnesota.

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