Swedish phone company Telia Co has agreed (subject to court approval) to pay US$965.8m to settle criminal and civil charges from both the US and Europe (Sweden and the Netherlands). The charges alleged that the company paid bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan.
The agreement settles long running investigations by the US Securities & Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and Dutch prosecutors.
The allegations were that between 2007 and 2010, Telia and Coscom LLC, its subsidiary in Uzbekistan, conspired to pay £331.2m to an Uzbek government official to help boost the company’s share of the country’s telecoms market. It is said that this enhanced Telia’s revenue by some US$2.5bn.
Telia has agreed to a three year deferred prosecution agreement with the DoJ and Coscom has pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). If the settlement is approved by the US federal court, it will become the largest payment ever made under the FCPA, beating the previous record of £800m paid by Siemens in 2008.