Philips has reached a settlement of 62 million dollars (58 million euros) with the American stock exchange watchdog SEC. Philips has unfairly influenced employees of hospitals in China to sell its equipment, according to the SEC.
The medical technology company allegedly paid a hospital director for help with a tender procedure. Philips would also have given discounts to distributors, knowing that the extra profit margins could then be used to pay bribes to officials. In addition, hospital administrators were influenced to set technical criteria in their tenders that were favorable to the company.
Philips has thus violated the law against bribery, according to the regulator. The SEC says Philips has failed for several years to maintain internal controls over the sale of medical technology products in China.
No admission of guilt
The settlement amount consists of a $ 15 million fine and $ 47 million in profits that Philips allegedly obtained illegally. Philips has agreed to the settlement. The company says it does not deny or admit guilt.
The company believes that this has resolved the issue. “It is important that this is now behind us, because it has been going on for a while,” says a spokesman. Philips had been anticipating a fine for some time; hence the company had already set aside money in the last quarter of 2022.