Swedish telecom giant Ericsson announced Wednesday it has reached a settlement of €80 million (U.S. $97 million) with Nokia relating to events that were the subject of a 2019 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) resolution with U.S. authorities.
The settlement amount “reflects uncertainty, risk, expense, and potential distraction from business focus associated with a potentially lengthy and complex litigation,” Ericsson stated.
In December 2019, Ericsson entered a $1 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve a long-running investigation into violations of the FCPA that spanned 17 years and several geographies and involved high-level executives.
The resolution with the Justice Department related to criminal charges of books and records and internal controls violations of the FCPA in five countries—Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Kuwait—and a guilty plea to one instance of bribery in Djibouti. The resolution with the SEC related to allegations of violations of the books and records and internal controls provision of the FCPA in six countries and of the bribery provision of the FCPA in three of six countries (with Saudi Arabia being added to the above list).
Ericsson said Wednesday it has “a zero-tolerance policy for corruption and has in recent years worked hard to strengthen its ethics and compliance program and to build a culture of compliance.”
Among the improvements Ericsson has made include enhancing the due diligence process of third parties, including the overall monitoring of third-party engagements; introducing more sophisticated analytic tools to better identify and prevent high-risk transactions and engagements; enhancing the ethics and compliance vetting process for senior leaders; and refreshing compliance training modules for employees, including workshops and face-to-face training for employees in exposed roles.
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