New anti-corruption legislation adopted Tuesday by France allows companies to enter into negotiated settlements with magistrates.
“The new system, allowing for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA), aims to speed up lengthy legal procedures,” VOA News said.
Fines can reach up to 30 percent of the company’s annual revenue.
The new law requires a judge to review settlements in a public hearing.
Whistleblower protections are also part of the legislation.
France has had weak anti-corruption enforcement.
The OECD Working Group on Bribery said in 2014 that although 24 new corruption cases were opened since 2012, no French company had been convicted of a foreign bribery offense, despite international convictions of some French companies.
The gap in French enforcement has been filled in part by the United States. Three French companies are on the list of the ten biggest FCPA enforcement actions.
Alstom paid $772 million in 2014, Total SA paid $398 million in 2013, and Technip SA paid $338 million in 2010.
France is the only country that appears on the top ten list three times.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.
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