back to article SAP to cough up $220M to drag bribery charges into recycle bin

Enterprise software giant SAP has agreed to pay at least $220 million to settle bribery charges brought by the US Justice Department (DOJ), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). SAP SE, based in Walldorf, Germany, is accused of conspiring to bribe government …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    So looks like bribery is fine, you just need to pay the cut to the US.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CoB

      From an operating company In Germany, bribing in Africa ?? Nice slice of fines for little to do with anything in US Jurisdiction.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: CoB

        That's the marvellous effect of law. If you have a US presence and you are caught doing things that US law has defined as illegal (even if not on US soil), you are liable for fining.

        And the reasoning is sound : if all you needed to do to legally bribe an official somewhere is do it from a subsidiary not on US soil, then every official from Senators on down would be getting brown envelopes from Burkina Faso, or maybe even just Mexico.

        That would not be acceptable. So, instead, you get lobbyists that only contribute to "campaign funding" . . .

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: CoB

          It is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It doesn’t cover bribes to US officials.

    2. cozappz

      Re: CoB

      Bribery becomes legal above a certain threshold, this is what US shows to the world.

  2. Silver badge

    Caught bribing officials? Bribe more officials to make it go away (for now).

  3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    So when will they go after FIFA and Qatar ?

  4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Seems strange thaat such poor countries in Africa would need SAP.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      That's the reason for the bribes.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    German business at work

    Siemens and VW, have you been slacking lately?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: German business at work

      Don't forget the Germany energy companies - I used to work for one, they were repeatedly fined for bribery, market abuse and the like, and all through Western/Russia difficulties, this company's Russian business unit operated without any interference by Russian authorities, unlike just about all other Western subsidiaries in the country. Highly placed colleagues told me the company operated a "cash room" at their German HQ, where briefcases of money were issued off the books so that payments could be made without any electronic records. That's a few years back, but seems to me that leopards don't change their spots very often.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I suppose the bribees still get to keep the money and SAP still gets to keep the contracts so it's just added to the cost of doing business.

  7. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    ...agreed to pay at least $220 million to settle bribery charges...

    Why does that also sound like a bribe...?

    How much to make this go away?

    But this time it's ok, because it's to the US gov.

  8. Tron Silver badge

    I'm so old...

    ...I can remember when $220,000,000 was a lot of money.

  9. Mike007 Bronze badge


    "from at least December 2014 through January 2022"

    "It claims that it cut ties with those responsible more than five years ago"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reflects the culture at SAP

    Just reflects the sales culture at SAP. Take the new RISE offering. The SAP sales teams only get compensation if they sell S4 Hana via RISE. If a customer does not want it and buys a S4 on premise license, the SAP sales team does not get paid yet SAP still will make millions on the software sale. So sales reps in many cases are forced to push a solution down a customer’s throat even if it is not a good fit or they don’t want it. This is a recipe to breed unscrupulous behavior.

  11. Pete Sdev Bronze badge

    Sī fuerīs Rōmae...

    I'm not condoning the behaviour, but I have the impression that in some countries bribing officials is commonplace and is seen as a normal way of doing business. I also strongly suspect all such companies of doing so, and that SAP just happened to be caught.

    See also: PPE procurement in the UK...

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