Sweden’s prosecution authority dropped an investigation into Ericsson regarding alleged bribery payments made in China by the vendor’s employees, after finding no evidence of wrongdoing.
The country launched an investigation into Ericsson in December 2019, shortly after the company agreed to pay a total of $1.1 billion to settle corruption cases brought by the US Department of Justice and the Security and Exchange Commission.
Ericsson had admitted to US authorities that it had paid bribes, falsified records and other related activities between 2000 and 2016 in five countries: Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.
Sweden then launched a probe to look into whether any of the company’s staff could be hit with bribery charges in relation to activity in Djibouti, Kuwait, Iraq and China.
However, in a statement, prosecutor Leif Gorts explained it had closed the China investigation, in addition to those in Iraq and Kuwait.
In Djibouti, company executives have been acquitted of bribery charges by a Swedish court, but this decision has been appealed by prosecutors.
Of the China probe, the prosecution authority stated while payments amount to several hundred million crowns corresponding to tens of millions of dollars had been made over a period leading to 2016, “it was not clear that these were made in bad faith”.