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How to Lessen the Chances of Acquiring an FCPA Headache

Tom Fox | May 13, 2014

When a company buys another with past, but unsettled, bribery and corruption problems, does the liability flow through to the purchaser? Is there any way to limit the exposure?

The ongoing news about a possible GE merger or purchase of all or certain businesses of the French power and engineering company Alstom SA has raised such questions about an acquiring company's potential liability under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Alstom had previously announced that it was under investigation for potential FCPA violations. Indeed, four Alstom executives have already been indicted for alleged FCPA violations associated with a power plant project in Indonesia. The U.K. Serious Fraud Office is also investigating Alstom for violations of the U.K. Bribery Act.

While the final liability of Alstom is still an open question, I thought the potential acquisition...

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