Panasonic Probed By U.S. Officials On Bribery Allegations, Shares Fall

Panasonic Probed By U.S. Officials On Bribery Allegations, Shares Fall

Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752) is the focus of a new investigation by U.S. authorities, who want to know if a division of the company paid bribes in order to garner business.

Shares of Panasonic fell almost 10 percent at the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning in the wake of The Wall Street Journal’s report about the possible investigation.

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The newspaper cites company documents, which indicate that Panasonic Avionics Corp. (PAC), a California-based subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752), told some executives and workers to keep track of documents which could be used in the investigation launched by the U.S. government.

One of the notices that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal also asked employees and executives to retain documents talking about “rumors, concerns and/or complaints” about possible bribery by PAC or its parent company.

It indicates that Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752) will fully cooperate with the investigation into PAC’s practices and that the investigation does not prove that any laws were broken.

Another notice indicates that Panasonic was subpoenaed by investigators in March. The subpoena apparently said that investors are looking for communications between PAC and its consultants and also documents in relation to payments made to third parties. The documents do not say which agencies are conducting the investigation.

The Wall Street Journal contacted Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752) for a statement and was told that PAC doesn’t comment on investigations being conducted by governments. The newspaper also contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, which both declined to comment on any investigation that might be ongoing.

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