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Offensive Use Of The FCPA?


The article “FCPA Ripples” highlights, among other topics, how Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny and enforcement can impact a company’s business operations and strategy in a variety of ways including “offensive” use of the FCPA by a competitor or adversary to achieve a business objective or to further advance a litigating position.

Amazon, like certain other companies, has fans and detractors as well.

In the later category is the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an organization which represents million of retail stores in India. CAIT has long raised concerns about Amazon’s business operations in India. (See here “CAIT Seeks Ban on Amazon in India” and here “CAIT Fully Geared up to Fight Amazon & Flipkart” for examples).

This prior post highlighted Amazon’s purported FCPA scrutiny in India.

Not surprisingly, CAIT has taken a position on the matter and recently sent a letter to the SEC and DOJ regarding Amazon. The letter states in full:

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Friday Roundup


Apparently not, scrutiny updates, silly offensive use, and not credible. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Apparently Not

This May 2017 post asked whether Sinovac might become the first Chinese issuer to resolve an FCPA enforcement action after the SEC began an inquiry regarding certain bribery and corruption issues in China.

Apparently not as the company recently announced:

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Friday Roundup


Scrutiny alerts and updates, just plain silly, #precisionmatters, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

Societe Generale

As highlighted in this 2014 post, Societe Generale, among other companies, has been under FCPA scrutiny regarding its dealings with Libya’s government-run investment fund. The French financial services company recently disclosed:

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Is This Appropriate?

© ClassicStock / Masterfile
Model Release: Yes
Property Release: No

Gibson Dunn is generally viewed as having a top tier Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practice.

The firm’s Year-End FCPA Update is always a quality read including this year’s version.

Yet, highlighted below is a paragraph from the Update that caught my eye and I ask: seriously – is this appropriate?

Early in the 36-page document is the following paragraph:

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Plaintiffs Allege Harm At The Hands Of Terrorist Group Funded In Part By Corrupt Sales Practices Of Various Multinational Companies

Mahdi Army

Various courts have held that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act does not confer a private right of action. However, as highlighted in “FCPA Ripples” and several other posts on this website, private plaintiffs with increasing frequency are using allegations of corruption to allege other substantive causes of action in what amounts to “offensive use” of the FCPA and related topics.

Recently, American service members and civilians and their families who were killed or wounded while serving in Iraq filed this 203 page civil complaint against AstraZeneca, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche claiming that the companies’ alleged acts of corruption in Iraq present viable civil claims under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that they or their family members were attacked by a terrorist group (Jaysh al-Mahdi) funded in part by the defendants’ corrupt sales practices.

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