The United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged former executives at Deutsche Telekom’s Magyar Telekom unit with bribery and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The federal agency said three Magyar Telekom executives paid off Macedonian government officials as much as $6.29 million during 2005 and 2006 for “regulatory benefits” and to muscle one of its competitors out of the Macedonian wireless market, Reuters reported. The SEC also accused the executives of trying to pay off consultants and government officials in Montenegro with as much as $9.47 million to receive a government blessing for a planned Magyar Telekom acquisition. The Magyar Telekom executives named in the SEC filing are former CEO Elek Straub and “strategy executives” Tamas Morvai and Andras Balogh.
According to CNBC, Facebook may go public during the first quarter of next year, and sources expect the company could be valued at more than $100 billion. Facebook could find an IPO more attractive once it surpasses a total of 500 investors, because after that milestone it will be required to file financial information with the SEC each quarter — otherwise known as the “500 rule” of the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act. CNBC said that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, recently said that an IPO would be “the next thing that happens” and that such a move is “inevitable.” More →
International Business Machines (IBM) has agreed to a settlement in a bribery case filed by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that IBM, through its overseas subsidiaries, bribed Chinese and South Korean government officials with gifts, trips, and cash payments in exchange for government contracts from 1998 to 2009. According to the SEC’s filing, IBM used “local business partners and travel agencies as conduits for bribes or other improper payments to South Korean and Chinese government officials over long periods of time.” The government agency also notes that IBM tried to hide its wrongdoings by recording the transactions as legitimate business expenses. The terms of the settlement, which would see IBM paying out $10 million, is still awaiting court approval. More →