WPP Plc, the world’s largest company holding firm, agreed to pay greater than $19 million to settle U.S. Securities and Trade Fee allegations that it violated anti-bribery legal guidelines.

WPP acquired majority pursuits in corporations in high-risk markets with out guaranteeing that these subsidiaries applied WPP’s inner compliance controls, based on a Friday SEC assertion. Founders and CEOs of the acquired entities exercised broad autonomy and out-sized affect. For instance, a subsidiary in India continued to bribe Indian authorities officers in return for promoting contracts regardless that WPP had acquired seven nameless complaints concerning the conduct.

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“An organization can’t enable a give attention to profitability or market share to come back on the expense of acceptable controls,” mentioned Charles Cain, head of the SEC enforcement unit that handles violations of the International Corrupt Practices Act.

With out admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, WPP agreed to pay $10.1 million in disgorgement, $1.1 million in prejudgment curiosity, and an $8 million wonderful.

“WPP’s new management has put in place sturdy new compliance measures and controls, essentially modified its strategy to acquisitions, cooperated totally with the Fee and terminated these concerned in misconduct,” a WPP spokesperson mentioned in an emailed assertion.

—Bloomberg Information