Black Boxes: US Securities and Exchange Commission Pursues SAP Rivals Oracle

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The SAP opponent Oracle forfeits for misconduct of employees in India. According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, these had diverted about 2.2 million dollars from orders and passed them into black boxes. There was a risk that "these funds will be used for unlawful purposes such as bribery or embezzlement, " said the SEC on Thursday in Washington.

The guards accused Oracle that the company's internal controls were too lax. Thus, the events occurred in the years 2005 to 2007. To get the thing out of the world, the software group has now agreed to pay 2 million dollars (equivalent to 1.6 million euros). Oracle neither denied the allegations, nor did the company acknowledge them - this is a common practice when making comparisons in the US.

Oracle has introduced controls that are among the best in the industry, a spokeswoman said. The company revealed its own payments in 2007, according to a written statement. Subsequently, Oracle reported the events to the authorities and cooperated with the SEC in their investigations. "The employees involved were terminated."

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US authorities are also prosecuting corruption abroad. Legal basis is the "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act", short FCPA. The long arm of the US judiciary was already felt by Daimler and Siemens, who were asked to pay due to questionable business in various countries. Daimler paid $ 185 million two years ago, Siemens $ 800 million four years ago to the SEC and the US Department of Justice. Among other things, IBM already compared itself with the supervisory authority from the IT sector; "Big Blue" paid $ 10 million to the SEC last year for bribery scandals in Asia.

Investigations are currently underway against US retail giant Wal-Mart. The suspicion is that managers of the Mexican daughter have bribed officials to get more quickly to building permits for new stores. The American top management should have known about it and kept silent.

Judging by this, the case of Oracle is a bagatelle. The company is the number one database software company, but with acquisitions it is pushing ever deeper into corporate software that companies use to do their accounting or manage their clients. Therefore, the rivalry comes to SAP, the market leader in this segment.

The dispute escalated when employees of the meanwhile closed SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow illegally downloaded updates from Oracle on a large scale. Oracle complained in 2007 and demanded a billion-dollar compensation. The two companies agreed after a grueling process that SAP will pay $ 306 million in compensation and take over Oracle's $ 120 million lawyer bill. (Dpa / tc)