SAP to pay more than $220m to resolve bribery charges

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at its headquarters in Walldorf.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at its headquarters in Walldorf.

Published Jan 11, 2024


German software giant SAP has agreed to pay more than $220 million (R4.1 billion) to resolve allegations it paid bribes to government officials in Indonesia, South Africa and five other countries, US authorities said Wednesday.

The deferred prosecution agreement resolves charges faced by SAP, which offers traditional software and cloud-based computing services, under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), according to a statement by the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.

"SAP has accepted responsibility for corrupt practices that hurt honest businesses engaging in global commerce," Jessica Aber, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said.

"We will continue to vigorously prosecute bribery cases to protect domestic companies that follow the law while participating in the international marketplace."

According to court filings, SAP and co-conspirators made bribe payments to officials in South Africa between 2013 and 2017 to secure contracts with the city of Johannesburg, the city of Tshwane, the national water and sanitation department and Eskom Holdings Ltd, an energy company.

Between 2015 and 2018, SAP arranged for bribes to be paid to Indonesian officials to obtain government contracts including with the fisheries ministry and the state-owned telecom company, the documents said.

The SEC said that in addition to Indonesia and South Africa, SAP had also been involved in bribery schemes in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Azerbaijan.

In a statement, SAP said it "welcomes the conclusion of these matters and will fully comply with the terms of the agreements."

"SAP separated from all responsible parties more than five years ago and has since significantly enhanced its global compliance program and related internal controls," the Walldorf-based company said.