In an effort to level the playing field for U.S. businesses overseas, many countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development adopted the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions in 1998. Nearly 10 years later, the main result may have been to enlarge the playing field of U.S. law enforcement.

The 1998 amendments expanding jurisdiction of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) were just the start of what catapulted the FCPA to the forefront of today’s business risks. Foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies not otherwise subject to the FCPA are now being indicted as “agents” of their U.S. affiliates. Meanwhile, some foreign companies, wondering whether listing on a U.S. exchange is worth it, are looking around for a new league.

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