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August 31, 2011

By Dominic Rushe

Allegations of bribery are understood to centre around software sales to government agencies in Western and Central Africa

US authorities are investigating allegations that executives working for software group Oracle paid African officials in violation of anti-bribery laws.

Agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the justice department had been investigating the claims for at least a year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

US financial watchdog the securities and exchange commission (SEC) is also looking at possible civil violations. The allegations are understood to centre on software sales to government agencies in western and central Africa. Law enforcement agencies are investigating whether Oracle or people working for the company made payments to government officials to secure contracts. Oracle did not return calls for comment.

Such payments would violate the foreign corrupt practices act (FCPA), which makes it a crime for US companies and their employees to offer or pay bribes to foreign government officials or employees of state-owned companies…Read more.