ABB avoids DOJ monitor, to pay $327M over South African bribes


Swiss technology company ABB agreed to pay $327 million in penalties to settle coordinated charges it paid bribes to win South African energy contracts.

The settlement, announced late Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice, saw ABB admit to a scheme from 2014-17 to pay bribes to a South African energy official. The scheme involved ABB making payments to subcontractors connected to the high-ranking official at the energy company Eskom Holdings. In return, ABB received “improper advantages” in its efforts to obtain work with Eskom, including access to confidential and internal Eskom documents.

ABB and Eskom then conducted “sham negotiations” that resulted in inflated contracts being awarded to ABB.

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