Merck & Co., Inc. Under Investor Investigation Over Potential Foreign Bribery
An investigation on behalf of current long term investors in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in connection with possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was announced.
Merck & Co., Inc., located in Whitehouse Station, NJ, is a global health care company that delivers health solutions through its medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures.
According to the investigation by a law firm the investigation on behalf of current long term investors in Merck & Co., Inc. (Public, NYSE:MRK) stocks focuses on potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), which prohibits companies from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. According to the Justice Department “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Specifically, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay…to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity … to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.”
Merck & Co., Inc. reported in 2006 Total Revenue of $22.636billion, in 2007 $24.1977billion, in 2008 $23.8503billion, and in 2009 $27.4283billion. Its Net Income rose during the same time frame from $4.4338billion in 2006 to $12.9013billion in 2009.
Nearly a dozen companies have already settled foreign bribery charges with prosecutors in a string of cases that started in 2002. Merck & Co., Inc. recently disclosed that it has received letters from the DOJ and the SEC that seek information about activities in a number of countries and reference the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Merck & Co. announced that it is cooperating with the agencies in their requests.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded recently at $35.54 per share, down from its current 52weekHigh of $41.56 per share. During 2008 and 2007 MRK shares traded as high as $60 per share.