San Francisco, Aug 24: Authorities in the US are investigating Microsoft over its potential involvement in bribery in connection with sales of software such as Word and Excel in Hungary, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
The investigation started after it was alleged that in 2013 and 2014, Microsoft sold certain software to government agencies in Hungary at the nearly full price while it sold the same products to an intermediary at a steep discount, according to the report.
The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether the intermediary used the difference to pay bribes and kickbacks to government officials, according to the report.
"As soon as we became aware in 2014 of potential wrongdoing in our Hungarian subsidiary, we moved quickly to pursue a detailed investigation and hold people accountable," a Microsoft spokesman was quoted as saying by CNET.
"We fired four employees and terminated our business with four partners, and we've been defending ourselves against legal claims they raised as a result," the spokesman added. Earlier, Microsoft had faced allegations of bribery in other countries, including China.