Microsoft pays 25 million to settle corruption charges

NEW YORK — Microsoft is paying more than $25 million to settle federal corruption charges involving a bribery scheme in its Hungary office and three other foreign subsidiaries.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says Microsoft will pay about $16.6 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving its operations in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.The Justice Department says Microsoft will also pay an $8.75 million criminal fine stemming from the Hungarian bid-rigging and bribery scheme, which involved Microsoft licenses sold to government agencies and falsely recorded as discounts.Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a letter to employees Monday that the conduct was “completely unacceptable” and involved a small number of employees. Smith is also outlining changes the company plans to make to prevent discounts from being used for improper purposes.The Associated Press