Comments on Fox Business Article Regarding Philips’ Efforts to Settle FCPA Allegations

Posted In DigitalOlympus Feature Articles, DigitalOlympus News - By Josh Cole On Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 With 0 Comments

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On April 10, popular news and technology blog commented on a recent article by Samuel Rubenfeld in Fox Business regarding Dutch electronics maker Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV’s agreement to pay U.S. regulators $4.5 million in order to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations.

According to the Fox Business news article, the Dutch electronics titan agreed to pay a fine of $4.5 million imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after self-disclosing, to both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the SEC in February 2011, that three former Philips Polska employees had allegedly bribed directors of Polish healthcare facilities to increase the sales of medical equipment in that country.

Responding to the Fox Business news story, leading researcher Josh Cole highlighted this matter as the most important corporate FCPA enforcement of 2013 so far. “If Philips had not undertaken the review of those potential anti-bribery violations. and then voluntarily disclosed their FCPA compliance problems to the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the legal consequences might have been much more severe for them.”

Since the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was adopted in 1977, prohibiting the payment of bribes to foreign officials by American organizations, this law has become a fundamental piece of the U.S. Government’s fight against corruption. In this day and age, many specialists even assure that the landscape of American business has changed so dramatically that it would be unwise for any company not conduct thorough due diligence investigations before venturing into international markets.

In a statement following the report, Cole shared some recommendations for companies facing similar allegations. “We urge all organizations to employ anti-corruption professionals trained to identify and effectively avert FCPA violations,” said Cole. “Furthermore, at Digital Olympus we recommend our readership to contact certified specialists who can develop compliance programs that minimize and remedy unlawful activities like fraud, bribery and corruption.”

As a leading news and technology blog, is dedicated to providing useful recommendations on how to avoid fraud and corruption violations, while also encouraging the adoption of due diligence procedures and business intelligence policies that can help businesses enhance their efficiency with respect to books and records internal controls. The Philips FCPA enforcement action can be seen as a notable precedent for all U.S corporations abroad, and it could be considered as a key example of the U.S. Government’s approach to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

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