Malaysian telcos lift ban on Alcatel-Lucent

21st December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Telekom Malaysia and Malaysian mobile operator Axiata have lifted almost year-long business bans on French equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent after it admitted paying bribes for contracts.

The two carriers had in March banned Alcatel-Lucent from bidding for new tenders.

Malaysian authorities last December began probing US accusations that Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent gave officials in Latin America and Asia -- including Malaysia -- kickbacks between December 2001 and June 2006.

The inquiry came shortly after Alcatel-Lucent agreed to pay $137 million in fines and penalties to settle US charges as part of an agreement with the authorities there.

The firm had told the US authorities that it made improper payments to obtain contracts with Celcom, a unit of Axiata, which was previously part of Telekom Malaysia but demerged from its parent company in 2008.

Telekom Malaysia said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia last Friday that it was "satisfied with the compliance program instituted by Alcatel-Lucent and believes it has implemented clear and enforceable policies and measures to prevent recurrence of any improper acts."

It said Alcatel-Lucent would be able to bid for projects from January 4, 2012. Axiata said its own suspension on Alcatel-Lucent was lifted with effect from last Friday.

© 2011 AFP

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