REDMOND EMPLOYER Microsoft is facing a US Department of Justice investigation into whether it gave kickbacks to get business across the globe.
That's the word from a source that has been talking to reporters from the Wall Street Journal.
The source reckons that the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are already investigating Microsoft and whether it had brown envelope software contract arrangements in China, Romania and Italy.
According to the Wall Street Journal it's at very early stages and such investigations can die out as opposed to ending up in accusations and fines.
Microsoft has responded to the accusations quickly, saying that these sort of things happen occasionally and that it will cooperate with the investigation.
"Like every large company with operations around the world we sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners," said John Frank, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel in a blog post. "We cooperate fully in any government inquiries."
Kickbacks apparently vary from country to country, and in China and Romania they go for the plain and simple, you give us money, we buy your stuff approach. In Italy they do things a little differently, it is alleged, and like to be lavished with gifts.
"The matters raised in the Wall Street Journal are important, and it is appropriate that both Microsoft and the government review them," added Frank.
"It is also important to remember that it is not unusual for such reviews to find that an allegation was without merit. (The WSJ reported earlier this week that an allegation has been made against the WSJ itself, and that, after a thorough investigation, its lawyers have been unable to determine that there was any wrongdoing). We cannot comment about on-going inquiries." µ