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U.S. investigates HP execs for bribery - report

By David Goldman, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Hewlett-Packard executives paid nearly $11 million in bribes to secure a contract from a Russian official's office, according to a news report.

The German and Russian governments had already been investigating the alleged incident to determine whether HP had engaged in any illegal activities. The SEC joined those nations' investigations on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"HP has been in communication with the SEC and will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities investigating this matter," an HP spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

The SEC could not immediately be reached for comment.

The investigation is looking into allegations that a German subsidiary of HP paid an €8 million ($10.9 million) bribe to win a €35 million ($47.7 million) computer components contract from the Russian prosecutor general's office, according to the report.

Two former HP executives and one current executive were arrested by German authorities in December, though no formal charges were brought upon them, and they have since been released.

Shares of HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) fell 27 cents or 0.5% after hours to $54.25.  To top of page

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