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What is a business relationship?

Tom Fox | July 25, 2018

The wider anti-corruption world is filled with examples of business relationship gone awry, causing legal liability. These have included agents, sales representatives, joint ventures, and almost any other type of business relationship one can dream up.

The Man From FCPA was, therefore, intrigued by recent reports that electric-car company Tesla, in a no-doubt desperate bid for more cash, is putting the squeeze on its suppliers—not to reduce the prices but to actually refund monies Tesla had paid to them, as far back as 2016. While it is not uncommon for large companies to squeeze their suppliers during economic downturns to reduce prices, it is almost unheard of to demand monies back.

Tesla has claimed these attempts are “an investment in the car company to continue the long-term growth between both players.” Note, Tesla does not characterize this as a loan,...

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