Sweden’s Ericsson is to pay a US$206 million fine and plead guilty after violating a 2019 deal with US prosecutors that required the telecoms firm to properly disclose information on its activities in Iraq, China and Djibouti.
The plea agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) follows a scandal over possible payments made to the Islamic State militant group through its activities in Iraq.
The department said in a statement that the firm fell short in disclosing activities after entering a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in 2019 to resolve a probe into years of alleged corruption in China, Vietnam and Djibouti.
Under the DPA, the department had agreed to hold off prosecuting Ericsson for three years if it paid a steep penalty, implemented “rigorous internal controls,” complied with US laws and cooperated fully on any ongoing investigations.
“Ericsson breached the DPA by violating the agreement’s cooperation and disclosure provisions,” the department said in a statement.
Although such agreement breaches have been historically rare, the department has warned a number of companies in since US President Joe Biden took office as it cracks down on corporate misconduct and repeat offenders.
Ericsson would be required to serve a probation term through June next year and agreed to a one-year extension of an independent compliance monitor, the department said.
Ericsson previously paid a total criminal penalty of more than US$520 million and agreed to the imposition of an independent compliance monitor for three years, the department said on Thursday, referring to the 2019 settlement.
“This resolution is a stark reminder of the historical misconduct that led to the DPA,” Ericsson chief executive officer Borje Ekholm said in a statement. “We have learned from that and we are on an important journey to transform our culture.”
Ericsson last year disclosed that a 2019 internal probe had identified payments designed to circumvent Iraqi customs at a time when militant organizations, including the Islamic State, controlled some routes.
The internal probe did not conclude that the firm made or was responsible for any payments to any terrorist organization, and the firm continues to probe the matter “in full cooperation with the DOJ and the US Securities and Exchange Commission,” Ericsson said.
INCOMING FIX: While a date for updates has not been given, Apple said that the latest overheating incidents might be the result of apps and account data transfers Apple Inc on Saturday said that recent claims of new iPhones getting too hot to the touch are due to software and app-related bugs, and that fixes are coming soon. The company said the device can get warm in the first few days as it works overtime to get set up and restore a user’s data, due to a bug in the latest iOS 17 software, and because of some third-party apps overloading the system. Apple told Bloomberg it is working with developers behind the apps causing the iPhone to overheat and that fixes are in the process of being released.
MODERATING: A Caixin Insight analyst said China’s macroeconomy is recovering, albeit at a slow pace, but private businesses and exporters are still under pressure A private gauge of China’s manufacturing activity slowed its pace of expansion last month, suggesting there is still room for caution as the nation charts its economic trajectory for the rest of the year. The Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was 50.6 last month, Caixin and S&P Global said in a statement yesterday — dipping closer to the 50 line, below which indicates contraction from the month before. Caixin’s services index was 50.2 for the month, still in expansion but also suggesting that the pace of growth in activity is losing momentum. The figures show a slightly precarious recovery even
Micron Technology Inc on Wednesday predicted a steeper loss than anticipated in the current quarter, indicating that an industry slump is still weighing on the largest US maker of memory chips. The company projected a fiscal first-quarter loss of as much as US$1.14 a share, excluding some items. Analysts had estimated a US$0.96 loss. On the bright side, revenue is expected to start recovering in the period. Micron predicted sales of US$4.2 billion to US$4.6 billion, compared with an estimate of US$4.21 billion. For Micron and competitors Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc, this year has been brutal. Customers in their
Aiming high: Despite pandemic-related losses, Eslite’s newest location should help the department store regain footing with a potential NT$4 billion in sales Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活) yesterday held a grand opening for a new department store in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) that is the largest in Asia by floor space and would help the leisure lifestyle services provider swing into profit next year. The new outlet, Eslite Spectrum Sindian, has almost 20,000 ping (66,000m2) of floor space that might generate annual revenue of NT$4 billion to NT$5 billion (US$123.96 million to US$154.95 million) by housing 250 retail brands including 20 themed restaurants to meet the entertainment needs of people in neighboring areas, Eslite Spectrum chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) said. The number of