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Alcatel Faces SEC Inquiry

Alcatel SA's (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) troubles in Costa Rica could lead to an SEC investigation, according to documents filed with the Commission.

For now, the SEC is only launching an "informal inquiry," according to a form F-3 filed by Alcatel on Wednesday. The form also says Alcatel has told the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice that it would cooperate with any investigation, although it's unclear whether either organization will formally look into the matter.

The troubles stem from a bribery scandal where payments were allegedly made to "various state and local officials in Costa Rica," two political parties in Costa Rica, and representatives of Grupo ICE, the state-owned telephone company, on behalf of Alcatel, according to the SEC filing. The officials involved include Miguel Angel Rodriguez, who served as Costa Rica's president from 1998 to 2002.

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— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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