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In December 2008 Siemens, the large German electronics firm, agreed to pay $1.6 billion in fines to settle legal

In December 2008 Siemens, the large German electronics firm, agreed to pay $1.6 billion in fines to settle legal suits bought by the U.S. and German governments. The governments asserted that Siemens had used bribes to win business in countries around the world. These were the largest fines ever levied against a company for bribes, reflecting the scale of the problem at Siemens. Since 1999, the company had apparently paid some $1.4 billion in bribes. In Bangladesh, Siemens paid $5 million to the son of the prime minister to win a mobile phone contract. In Nigeria, it paid $12.7 million to various officials to win government telecommunications contracts. In Argentina, Siemens paid at least $40 million in bribes to win a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards. In Israel, the company “provided” $20 million to senior government officials in order to win a contract to build power plants. In China, it paid $14 million to government officials to win a contract to supply medical equipment. And so on.

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