WSJ: Microsoft, unnamed business partners being investigated by US government over foreign bribery

Microsoft is under investigation by United States regulators over software bribery claims involving foreign government officials, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing "people familiar with the matter." The piece says both the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into the Redmond, Washington-based software giant, investigating allegations of kickbacks in China, and its "relationship with certain resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy." Though neither the Justice Department nor the SEC would confirm the investigation, Microsoft told the WSJ, "We sometimes receive allegations about potential misconduct by employees or business partners. We cooperate fully in any government inquiries," without confirming the situation.

With regard to China, Microsoft's allegedly being investigated for kickbacks that its Chinese subsidiary is said to have paid for software contracts in the region. In Romania the situation is said to be similar to that in China, but in Italy it's said to involve customer loyalty plans.

Update: Microsoft further outlines its response to the allegations here (though still without confirming whether or not the investigations are taking place).