Ericsson AB is nearing a resolution of a long-running U.S. corruption investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a deal that could cost the telecommunications equipment maker more than $1 billion.
Such an agreement, which the people said could be announced this week or next, would end probes by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission into potential bribery in six countries where the company did business. In September, Stockholm-based Ericsson said it had set aside 12 billion kronor ($1.2 billion) to cover U.S. penalties.
The head of the Justice Department’s criminal division hinted at an imminent resolution during a speech Wednesday at the American Conference Institute’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act gathering in Maryland. Without naming Ericsson, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said a corporate case to be announced soon would enable the Justice Department to finish the year with a total of about $1.6 billion in FCPA recoveries. A $1.2 billion penalty payment divided between the Justice Department and the SEC would be consistent with that figure.
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