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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Trust Law

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Trust Law

Foreign corrupt practices acts are measures put in place by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the main purpose of ensuring that U.S companies do not engage themselves in unethical practices such as bribing individuals from foreign countries with an aim of receiving government contracts or other forms of business. This paper investigates the cases of foreign corrupt practices act and the anti-trust law in the United States.

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However, not all companies seem to adhere to the rules and regulations put in place by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and some of them have been charged for violation of measures put in place. For instance, on November 17, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former employees of FLIR in the U.S for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying an all expense “World Tour” for Saudi Arabia government officials with an aim of securing business for the company. FLIR (forward-looking infrared imaging systems) is a company based in Oregon dealing with the production or manufacturing of thermal imaging, infrared cameras, night vision, and sensor systems.

According to Securities and Exchange Commission, FLIR entered a multi-million dollar agreement with the Saudi government with the aim of providing thermal binoculars to Saudi Arabia in November 2008. The employees, Timms and Ramahi were identified as the chief or primary sales individuals responsible for negotiating the contract since Timms acted as the head of FLIR’s Middle East office based in Dubai while Ramahi reported to him. In an attempt to hide their misconduct the employees tried to manipulate records but later agreed to charges faced by them of violating the anti-bribery provisions of SEC Act and decided to settle the charges by paying hefty penalties (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2015).

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Apart from FCPA Acts, there are other measures put in place known as Antitrust Laws. Antitrust Laws are measures put in place by the Federal Trade Commission with an aim of protecting American consumers by ensuring the rules of a competitive market are in place. The Federal Trade Commission seeks to ensure that there is cushioning of consumers against anticompetitive forms of business mergers and business practices by working in tandem or together with the Bureau of Economics to enforce antitrust laws (Blanch, n.d.).

Cases of companies who violated antitrust laws are evident in America. For instance, Kodak, which controls a huge percentage of film and camera market in the United States, has faced accusation of violating antitrust laws. In 1921, a decree passed by the U.S government following suits and claims by both federal and private parties prohibited Kodak from selling private-label film under any other independent label but only its own. Following the developments of its Kodacolor film in 1954, the company not only became the single manufacturer and seller of Kodacolor but also expert in film processing (Blanch, n.d.). However, Kodak was not fair in its operations and business dealings. If an individual was to purchase Kodacolor, he or she had to pay some fee to allow the film to take part in the processing and delivery stage.

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The company faced accusation of tying together the film and the finished product. This was perceived as a violation of Sherman act (Blanch, n.d.). Later on, it was coerced to license the color finishing process to the third parties and following the changing of international conditions of the economy in 1994, both consent decrees were terminated.

In conclusion, there are laws put in place by some regulatory bodies in the United States that are meant to ensure the avoidance of corrupt behavior and unhealthy business practices. All these measures are put in place to protect citizens against tax loss and protect consumers against poor quality products they may purchase. Such laws include the foreign corrupt practices act and the anti-trust laws.

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