Qualcomm has settled charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it hired relatives of Chinese officials who could influence the selection of its mobile technology products in a competitive market.
The SEC investigation also found that Qualcomm allegedly provided “gifts, travel, and entertainment” to try to influence officials at government-owned telecom companies in China. Qualcomm misrepresented in its books and records that the things of value provided to the officials were legitimate business expenses, the SEC said.
The chip company neither accepts nor denies the charges but has agreed to pay US$7.5 million to the SEC to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), according to a statement Tuesday from the agency. Qualcomm clarified that the settlement relates to its conduct before 2012 and the SEC action was not a criminal one. The Department of Justice recently closed its investigation on these matters without taking any action, it added.