Tyre giant Goodyear has agreed to pay about US$16 million to settle federal regulators’ charges that it failed to prevent persistent bribery in Kenya and Angola aimed at winning tyre sales.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the settlement on Tuesday (February 24) with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., one of the world’s biggest tyre makers. The SEC said Goodyear’s subsidiaries in the African countries paid more than US$3.2 million in bribes to employees of government-owned and private companies, and to local officials. The agency says that the bribes, paid “routinely” from 2007 through to 2011, were hidden in company books by being falsely recorded as legitimate business expenses.
Goodyear, based in Akron, Ohio, neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The company is turning over about US$14 million in alleged illicit profits plus US$2 million in interest. The SEC said the settlement amount took into account Goodyear having reported the problems to regulators, taking steps to correct them and cooperating with its investigation.
In addition, Goodyear agreed to report to the SEC its progress in strengthening anti-bribery programs over the next three years.
Goodyear voluntarily reported to the government the findings of its internal review of the alleged conduct and cooperated in the federal investigation, it said.