Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) could be in a bribery scheme in China? Or is this a case of revenge, that is claimed by the very newspaper that is reporting this case? China has been more visible in the American media and has been a prominent source of investment among many American companies due to its population and its toe-dipping in capitalism to support its communist government. In recent months, however, it seems that the country has received some less-than-glowing reports. China was alleged to throw out a bribery claim against a U.S. media outlet in response to a negative report by the outlet. At the same time, China is a very competitive market for tech companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).
But is the bribery card being played again, or is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) desperate to get an edge in the market? That questions is up for debate officially, as the Wall Street Journal reported this week that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are opening an investigation into bribery charges by Microsoft and partners in China, Romania and Italy. The former rep, who left Microsoft in 2008, made claims that Redmond’s China subsidiary offered benefits in exchange for securing software contracts. And in the two European countries, the feds are looking into claims that Microsoft put out bribes to secure contracts in the Ministry of Communications in Romania, and determining whether Microsoft bribed consultants in Italy in order to secure government business.
It was noted that the newspaper breaking this story, the WSJ, was involved in its own bribery allegations earlier in the wake of a negative report about China. The feds looked into those allegations and found nothing.
What do you think? Is this just revenge by China, or is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) getting caught up in the increased competitive landscape? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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