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Euronews: Dec. 28

Ray Le Maistre

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is paying its dues for former discrepancies, while Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) moves forward with its Latin American strategy.

  • AlcaLu is to pay more than US$137 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges of bribery and corruption connected to former Alcatel operations in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Bribes were paid to government officials in these markets between December 2001 and June 2006, prior to Alcatel’s merger with Lucent. (See Costa del Kickback? and Former Alcatel Exec Detained.)

    The SEC noted: "Alcatel and its subsidiaries failed to detect or investigate numerous red flags suggesting their employees were directing sham consultants to provide gifts and payments to foreign government officials to illegally win business."

    AlcaLu notes that it has "a zero-tolerance policy regarding bribery and corruption," adding that it announced in 2008 that it would cease using sales agents and consultants, "the primary means by which certain former employees made the improper payments involved in the violations."

  • Telefónica has taken the latest step in the consolidation of its Brazilian operations as mobile operator Vivo Participacoes SA , which the Spanish giant now owns, approved the incorporation of its shares into that of fixed-line carrier Telecomunicações de São Paulo S.A. (Telesp, or Telefónica Brazil), reports Bloomberg. (See Viva La Vivo Deal and Telefónica Confirms Vivo Deal.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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