Germany’s SAP Fined $220M For Foreign Bribery
SAP SE (ETR: SAP), Germany’s biggest software company, will pay over $220mn in fines to settle foreign bribery charges filed…
SAP SE (ETR: SAP), Germany’s biggest software company, will pay over $220mn in fines to settle foreign bribery charges filed by the U.S. government. The German company will pay a $119mn criminal penalty and forfeit $103mn to settle charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department.
The Justice Department will credit up to $55mn from SAP’s criminal penalty to whatever fine SAP pays to settle similar charges filed by law enforcement authorities in South Africa.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed civil bribery charges against SAP, which the company agreed to pay $98mn in fines to settle. $59mn of the SEC’s fine will count against what SAP pays to settle bribery charges with the South African government.
All in all, SAP will pay more than $235mn to the U.S. Justice Department, SEC, and South African law enforcement.
- According to the U.S. Justice Department, SAP gave millions of dollars in bribes to win a contract with Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity monopoly. The SEC also cited bribery schemes in Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.
- The SEC said it identified $6.7mn in SAP payments to “consultants” who “never performed any services,” constituting bribes.
This case isn’t SAP’s first run-in with U.S. authorities over foreign bribery. In 2016, the company agreed to forfeit $3.7mn in profits to settle charges of bribing Panamanian government officials to win contracts. An American SAP executive, Vicente Garcia, was convicted and sentenced to 22 months in prison in that case.
SAP is the world’s biggest enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor. It is Europe’s biggest software company, with over $30bn in annual sales and a market capitalization topping $190bn.
SAP’s settlement had been anticipated since at least June 2023, when the company set aside $186mn for fines related to bribery investigations. The company reported a $2.4bn net profit in 2022.