Russia

Microsoft Probed for Bribery in Russia, Pakistan

Is it possible to do business in either country without bribes?

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Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, said it's cooperating with federal authorities investigating possible illegal activity by employees and business partners in Russia and Pakistan.

The company takes every allegation seriously and will cooperate fully with any government inquiries, John Frank, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, wrote in a blog posting yesterday. Mark Murray, a spokesman for Microsoft, confirmed that the software maker's activities in Russia and Pakistan are now part of an investigation.

The statement followed a Wall Street Journal report that federal regulators are extending their examination of the company's relations with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign officials for contracts. The investigation had earlier looked into allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, and the company's relationships with resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy, the newspaper said.