Walmart discloses probe over foreign corruption

Published December 9, 2011 4:51 pm

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Bentonville, Ark. • Walmart has opened an internal investigation to determine whether its overseas operations have complied with U.S. federal law as it pertains to permitting, licensing and inspections.

The retailer offered few details about the investigation in a quarterly report filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said that it opened the probe after reviewing policies, procedures and internal controls tied to its global anti-corruption program. It said that it is taking "appropriate remedial measures" related to compliance with the" Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.

All companies doing business overseas must comply with the act, which broadly deals with bribery and accounting rules.

Walmart Stores Inc. has hired outside lawyers and other advisers, and has notified the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission.

The issue will not have a material impact on business, the company said. The world's largest retailer — which operates in 28 countries, including China, Mexico and Japan — brought in $419 billion in revenue last year.