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Disconnected – The Many FCPA Enforcement Actions Against Telecom Companies

Not all industry sectors have the same Foreign Corrupt Practices Act risk.

At its most basic level, FCPA risk is a function of real company employees or agents having real points of contact with real alleged “foreign officials” in the global marketplace. The more regulated a foreign marketplace is, the more points of contact there are likely to be.

In many countries, the telecom sector is heavily regulated and thus not surprisingly many FCPA enforcement actions have occurred in this sector.

As highlighted below, since 2010 there have been eleven FCPA enforcement actions against telecom companies resulting in approximately $3.1 billion in settlements. Seven of these enforcement actions were against non-U.S. telecom companies and four of these enforcement actions are in the Top Ten of FCPA settlements [1].

Ericsson (2019)

See prior posts here [2] and here [3].

$1.06 billion enforcement action concerning conduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.

Telefonica Brasil (2019)

See prior posts here [4], here [5] and here [6].

$4.1 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil.

MTS (2019)

See prior posts here [7] and here [8].

$850 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Uzbekistan.

Polycom (2018)

See prior posts here [9] and here [10].

$37 million enforcement action concerning conduct in China.

Telia (2017)

See prior posts here [11] and here [12].

$483 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Uzbekistan.

VimpelCom (2016)

See prior posts here [13] and here [14].

$398 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Uzbekistan.

Comverse Technologies (2011)

See here [15] for a prior post.

$2.8 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Greece.

Cinergy Telecommunications (2011)

See here [16] for a prior post.

The enforcement action concerned conduct in Haiti, but the DOJ agreed to dismiss the charges because Cinergy was a non-operational entity with no assets of any real value.

Magyar Telekom / Deutsche Telekom (2011)

See here [17] for a prior post.

$95 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Macedonia and Montenegro.

Alcatel-Lucent (2010)

See here [18] for a prior post.

$137 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Costa Rica, Honduras, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Angola, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Mali.

Veraz Networks (2010)

See here [19] and here [20] for prior posts.

$300,000 enforcement action concerning conduct in China and Vietnam.

[21]