Airbus €3.6 Billion Bribery Fine Amounts to Record Settlement
In an agreement to defer prosecution, Airbus has agreed to payout a record EUR 3.6 billion to authorities in France, the UK and the US.
The DPA agreement includes a record breaking €991 million (£833 million) in the UK, €2.08 billion in France alone, and €525 million ($581 million) in the US.
The agreed fines come on the back of a four-year long probe into bribery within the closed doors of Airbus, Europe’s flagship multinational aerospace corporation. Dame Victoria Sharp, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, had this to say: “The seriousness of the criminality in this case hardly needs to be spelled out. As is acknowledged on all sides, it was grave. The conduct took place over many years. It is no exaggeration to describe the investigation it gave rise to as worldwide, extending into every continent in which Airbus operates.”
She said the investigation concluded that bribery was “endemic in two core business areas within Airbus”.
A barrister for the SFO in the UK, Allison Clare told the courtroom at the Royal Courts of Justice that the aerospace firm had been accused of five counts of failure to prevent bribery. With the DPA in place, these crimes have now been suspended for three years. Even the UK sum alone, at £833 million, “exceeds the combined sum of all previous UK DPAs,” according to Clare.
The agreement also includes full cooperation form Airbus in any future investigations carried out by the SFO and disclosure of any further wrongdoings moving forward. If the DPA is not respected, then prosecution will take place.