Oracle is currently under a bribery investigation by the FBI concerning its forays into foreign markets.
Apparently the Bureau is investigating whether Oracle has been greasing palms left, right and centre in a bid to push its products into various countries outside America.
According to sources close to the Wall Street Journal, US authorities have been digging the dirt on Oracle backhanders for over a year now.
One of the main areas where the investigations are concentrating are in Central and West Africa, where it is alleged that the firm has been offering payments to government officials in return for guaranteed sales of its software.
Oracle has a large presence outside of the US, with operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounting for around a third of its $35.6 billion revenues.
Apparently, it’s alleged that Oracle is not afraid to hastily hand out a few cash laden envelopes to government officials to help further its inroads into foreign markets, with plans to extend its data management and applications software across the world.
But it seems that US authorities have gotten wise to such ploys, and are now looking to hit the company for breaking laws which state that bribing foreign firms will be punished domestically. And indeed this has been the case for other US firms as authorities clamp down on such corruption.
In HP’s case it was over in Russia that it had apparently been giving state and private firms a little extra for their help.
IBM also had to hand over $10 million to resolve civil allegation over payment of bribes in Asia.