The Microsoft investigation recently launched by the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission is following paper trails and HUMINT (human intelligence) leads in search of bribes. Microsoft is under intense scrutiny after multiple allegations arose that the software giant slipped money covertly to government officials in China, Romania, and Italy in return for illegal (or at least unethical) favors.
The Microsoft Investigation was exposed to the general public by the Wall Street Journal which noted that th all-too-familiar “people familiar with the matter” have leaked allegedly credible information to the government agencies.
The company itself is said to have launched its own inquiry prior to the official Microsoft investigation but the result were never made public.
If the government agencies fined Microsoft has violated any national or international laws, the company could be facing huge fines that make the $731 million Microsoft fine the EU slapped the software manufacturer with in earlier this month look like Monopoly Money. In addition, criminal charges could be filed against the company itself as well as any involved employees.
Microsoft Investigation Muddies already Murky International Waters
This news of leaked insider information and illicit bribes comes on the heels of a European Microsoft investigation in which the company was discovered to have violated its own agreements in regards to Internet browser monopolies.
The Company is facing a huge international backlash as it’s portrayed as a multi-headed hydra that’s trying to push its products forcefully on consumers who aren’t even aware they have options.
There’s no word on whether this newest Microsoft investigation has ties to previous ones, but it’s likely the earlier witch hunts may have urged the unnamed former employee to come forward with these charges of wrong doing. The alleged former employee was said to have worked for the company for years in China and had been engaged in labor disputes in that country.
The Romanian charges stem from another source which says the company could have been paying off government officials in order to secure contracts. similarly, the Italian investigation is focusing on “customer loyalty” programs which could have included elaborate gifts in exchange for the retention of Microsoft products and services.