Over the past several months, FCPA has become a familiar acronym in Asian legal circles.

U.S. prosecutors are currently pursuing dozens of cases under the anti-bribery Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and many multinationals’ Asian operations have come under scrutiny. In February, capacitor maker Maxwell Technologies Inc. admitted its employees bribed Chinese officials and paid $14 million to the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission. The following month, IBM admitted no wrongdoing but paid $10 million over alleged FCPA violations in China and Korea. Just last week, British drinks giant Diageo likewise admitted no wrongdoing but paid U.S. authorities $16 million to resolve charges that it made hundreds of improper gifts and payments to officials in South Korea, India and Thailand, in exchange for tax and sales benefits.

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