The Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has agreed to pay more than 1 billion dollars to settle a corruption case brought by US authorities, the Justice Department said Friday.
Ericsson agreed to the settlement after the Justice Department filed documents Friday in the Southern District of New York, charging it with conspiracies to violate the anti-bribery and other provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Justice Department said in a news release.
An Ericsson subsidiary, Ericsson Egypt Limited, pleaded guilty on Friday for its role in the scheme.
US Attorney Geoffrey Berman of the Southern District of New York said Ericsson admitted to a years-long campaign of corruption in five countries - Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait - to solidify its grip on telecommunications business.
"Through slush funds, bribes, gifts, and graft, Ericsson conducted telecom business with the guiding principle that money talks," Berman said in the news release.
Ericsson used third party agents and consultants to make bribe payments to government officials and to manage off-the-books slush funds, it said.
The settlement includes a criminal penalty of over 520 million dollars and a fine of approximately 540 million dollars to be paid to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a related matter.
The SEC began investigating the scheme in 2013, examining orders dating back to the 1990s. The Justice Department became involved in 2015.