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Socialists call for committee to probe Microsoft corruption case

The Socialist Party (MSzP) has proposed setting up a parliamentary committee to investigate the recent corruption case involving the local unit of tech giant Microsoft and the sale of software licenses to Hungarian government agencies, news site reports.

Last month, Microsoft Hungary agreed to pay a criminal penalty of more than USD 8.7 million to resolve a U.S. government investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of a bid rigging and bribery scheme in connection with the sale of Microsoft software licenses to Hungarian government agencies.

The announcement of the Socialistsʼ call for a new committee investigation was made by Tamás Harangozó, MSZPʼs deputy parliamentary group leader.

Harangozó noted that the U.S. investigation revealed Microsoft Hungary sold licenses and service contracts at huge discounts to intermediary firms, who then sold these on to government institutions such as the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) and National Police Headquarters, but without passing on the savings to these customers.

The investigation also shed light on e-mails between government members and Microsoft Hungaryʼs management discussing details of the deals, Harangozó claimed.