Microsoft is entangled in a U.S. government investigation into whether the software maker and some of its business partners resorted to bribery to close deals in China, Romania and Italy, according to a report.
Citing anonymous people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal said the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether kickbacks were paid to foreign officials to help close sales of software. The probe’s targets include resellers of Microsoft software, company consultants and Microsoft employees outside the U.S., according to the Journal.
The newspaper emphasized that the inquiry remains in an early stage and there have been no accusations of wrongdoing.
Drugstore chain Walgreen is buying an ownership stake in another big company in a deal that could increase its clout when negotiating prices with drugmakers.
The Deerfield, Ill., company said it is expanding its supply agreement with AmerisourceBergen through a 10-year deal that gives it and European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots a minority stake in the pharmaceutical wholesaler. Walgreen has a stake in Alliance Boots.
The latest announcement came as Walgreen said its second-quarter earnings climbed 11 percent, helped by contributions from Alliance Boots, a business sale gain, and its new contract with Express Scripts Holding.
Adobe Systems, the largest maker of graphic design software, reported first-quarter sales and profits that exceeded analysts’ estimates as more customers adopted online versions of its products.
Sales for the period ending March 1 was $1.01 billion, San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe said in a statement. That topped the average $985.8 million projection, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Profit excluding some items was 35 cents a share, compared with analysts’ average 31-cent prediction.
| Star news services