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US'Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 1977: GovernanceMusings on US-listed Companies


Code : GOV0046

Year :

Industry : General Business

Region : US

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment : Available

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Introduction: “Politicians and public officials from the world’s leading industrial countries are ignoring the rot in their own backyards and the criminal bribe-paying activities of multinational firms headquartered in their countries.”

– Peter Eigen, Chairman, Transparency International, May 2002

Over the last fewyears,with the increased pace of globalisation,manyMultinational Companies (MNCs) started their operations overseas – especially in emergingmarkets like Indiawhere corruption is tentatively high.With themultinationals repeatedly involved in bribing the public officials, there was concern about the anti-corruption laws prevailing in the countries where theseMNCs operated. Hence, there have been increased investigations and enforcement actions against the corporations and individuals across the world under US Foreign Corrupt PracticesAct (FCPA), 1977. In India, a few multinational companies such as Dow Chemical Company, A.T. Kearney, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation and Xerox Corporation came under the purview of FCPAand had to pay hefty amounts for their settlements.With such trends prevailing across many emerging and least developed economies, is it feasible to have a good eye of governance over the global operations of the companies? And to what extent is FCPA effectively involved in keeping vigilance over the US-listed entities?

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