ALU Banned: Alcatel-Lucent Admitted also Paying Bribes for Contracts in Malaysia

Telekom Malaysia and mobile operator Axiata have barred Alcatel-Lucent from bidding for new tenders for a year after it admitted paying bribes for contracts.

Malaysian authorities in December began to probe accusations by US officials that Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent gave kickbacks to government officials in Latin America and Asia — including Malaysia — between December 2001 and June 2006.

The investigation came days after Alcatel-Lucent agreed to pay $137 million in fines and penalties to settle the charges as part of an agreement with US authorities. Transparency International Malaysia welcomed the the decisions but described the 12-month punishment as “mild” by international standards.

Alcatel-Lucent agreed in December to pay the huge fine to settle the charges following a deal with the US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It had told the two US authorities that it made improper payments to obtain contracts with Celcom, a unit of Axiata. Axiata was previously known as TM International, a unit of Telekom Malaysia.

The Justice Department said Alcatel had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prior to its 2006 merger with US-based Lucent Technologies.