Hewlett-Packard Says Polish Regulators Join Bribery Probe

Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s second-biggest personal-computer maker, said Polish investigators joined a probe by U.S. regulators into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by the company.

The Polish Anti-Corruption Bureau, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are looking into “public-sector transactions” involving an employee of Hewlett-Packard’s Polska unit, according to a regulatory filing today.

The agencies are also investigating “public-sector transactions” in Russia, Mexico and other countries that weren’t named, according to the filing. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, outlaws bribing foreign officials. International Business Machines Corp., Hewlett-Packard’s largest competitor in the computer-services business, is also the target of an investigation by the Polish agency and the Justice Department over “allegations of illegal activity” by a former employee in Poland, according to a filing in July.

“While our understanding is that no current HP employees are suspects in this case, we are fully cooperating with authorities,” Michael Thacker, a spokesman for Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard, wrote in an e-mail.

Oracle Corp., the largest maker of database software, agreed to pay $2 million last year to settle SEC claims that it violated the FCPA.

Hewlett-Packard, which trails only Lenovo Group Ltd. among PC makers, rose less than 1 percent to $22.36 at the close in New York, leaving the shares up 57 percent this year.

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