Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday that it is fielding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act inquiries from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission with regard to an investigation into potential bribery and anti-competitive practices in Brazil.
This appears to be the first mention by J&J of an FCPA investigation regarding this matter. In an April quarterly filing, J&J said the Public Prosecution Service in Rio de Janeiro and representatives from the Brazilian antitrust authority CADE in July 2018 inspected the offices of “more than 30 companies, including Johnson & Johnson do Brasil Indústria e Comércio de Produtos para Saúde Ltda.”
J&J said at the time the “authorities appear to be investigating allegations of possible anti-competitive behavior and possible improper payments in the medical device industry.” In its latest quarterly filing, J&J added it is “continu[ing] to actively respond” to inquiries from the DOJ and the SEC on the matter.
J&J in 2011 agreed to pay more than $70 million in fines to the DOJ and the SEC to resolve improper payments by J&J subsidiaries to government officials in Greece, Poland, and Romania in violation of the FCPA.