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ABB may be liable for suspect payments


ZURICH, Switzerland— ABB Group employees may have made illegal payments in several countries and the global engineering group could find itself liable for penalties and other costs related to the suspect payments, the company has acknowledged.

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB said in a note in its quarterly results released July 26 that it disclosed on July 13 to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission that it had uncovered suspect payments made by employees at its subsidiaries in Asia, South America, Europe and "in particular Italy."

No further details regarding the payments were released.

"These suspect payments were discovered as a result of ABB's internal audit and compliance program," ABB said in the note. "The payments may be in violation of the Foreign Companies Practices Act or other applicable laws."

ABB said it is cooperating with authorities investigating the payments and continuing its internal compliance reviews.