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An Odd FCPA Clause


Searching for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act content every day, every week, every month, and every year for 13 years running sometimes yields interesting results.

Such as the ticketing page for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers.

The page sets forth 17 separate terms and conditions of purchasing a ticket including such mundane matters as: ticket sales are final; game times may change; the team and/or NBA may utilize a ticket holder’s image, likeness, etc. in live or recorded audio or images; and the belongings of a ticket holder may be subject to search upon entry into the arena.

And then there is this.

“Without limiting the foregoing, the Holder agrees not to give or offer this ticket in a manner that would constitute a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, any other anti-bribery law or regulation, or any conflicts of interest law, regulation, or policy.  No readmittance will be allowed.”

Inclusion of an FCPA clause in the terms and conditions of a ticket is odd.

Sure, an NBA ticket is a thing of value and tickets to sporting events have been mentioned in actual FCPA enforcement actions.

But then again, things of value in actual FCPA enforcement actions have included: handbags; a bottle of wine; a camera; kitchen appliances; business suits; television sets; laptops; appliances; tea sets; office furniture; and also an evening at a karaoke bar (I guess this one would depend on the quality of the singing).

You name it, and it could be a thing of value in an FCPA enforcement action.

Does that mean that all things of value purchased, exchanged or provided, now need an FCPA clause.

One goes to a bar or restaurant and orders a bottle of wine. Prior to the beverage arriving, a patron acknowledges that a foreign official will not consume the drink.

One gets fitted for a business suit. Prior to taking possession of the apparel, a customer acknowledges that a foreign official will not wear the clothing.

One goes to a Karaoke bar. Prior to entry, a group must acknowledge that no foreign officials are present.

Having an FCPA clause in an NBA team’s ticketing policy is odd. But then again, perhaps a lawyer within the team’s organization or the team’s outside counsel wanted to show off their “FCPA goggles.”

Showing off your “FCPA goggles” is often good and a value add.

But sometimes showing off your “FCPA goggles” can be silly.

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