Walmart disclosed earlier this month that a lengthy internal investigation into bribery at its Mexico subsidiary had widened to include operations in Brazil, China and India.
Bribery of foreign officials to gain preferential business treatment is against the law under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The New York Times
reported earlier this year that Walmart had uncovered evidence during an audit that officials in Mexico had bribed officials to expedite building permits and for other reasons, and that headquarters staff tried to keep the information quiet.
The world's largest retailer said it has since made improvements to its compliance program and taken a number of "specific, concrete actions with respect to our processes, procedures and people." Walmart did not specify what actions were taken.
Walmart did not rule out the possibility of more corrupt practices in other international operations.
“We take compliance with the FCPA very seriously and are committed to having a strong and effective global compliance program in every country in which we operate. We will not tolerate noncompliance anywhere or at any level of the company. We are working diligently to strengthen our compliance programs and dedicating considerable resources to this effort. In fact, the company has spent more than $35 million on its global FCPA compliance review efforts over the past 18 months," the statement said. - Eric Kulisch