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Big Penalties for EU Bribery

WASHINGTON (CN) - The largest telecom in Hungary will pay $95 million to settle civil and criminal charges that it bribed government and party officials in Macedonia and Montenegro to win business and shut out competition in telecommunications, the SEC said.

The SEC sued Magyar Telekom and its corporate parent, Deutsche Telekom; and former Magyar execs Elek Straub, Andras Balogh and Tamas Morvai in separate federal complaints.

The defendants paid $6 million in bribes in Macedonia and $9 million in Montenegro "to prevent the introduction of a new competitor and gain other regulatory benefits," the SEC said in a statement announcing the settlement. The bribes were disguised as consulting and marketing contracts, according to the SEC.

Magyar settled with the SEC for $31.2 million in disgorgement and interest, and will pay a $59.6 million criminal fine under a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, according to the SEC.

Deutsche Telekom settled with the Justice Department for $4.4 million, the SEC said.

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