US regulators crack down on bribery abroad.

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The number of companies worldwide being investigated under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a record total of 111, Nearly a third of these involve non-US entities, including nine UK firms.

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Investigations into corporate bribery have stepped up globally, but the SEC and DOJ have led the way, fining 47 companies (19 non-US) $1.4bn in the past two years.

"This is part of a trend in which US authorities are targeting non-US corporations in an effort to expand what they assert is their jurisdiction over persons and business activities outside the US," said Aaron Marcu, global investigations partner at law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. "Companies are concluding...

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