Telecom giant Ericsson suffering from corruption

By Adrien Senecat

Posted today at 6:04 pm.

Suspicion of indirect finance to Iraqi jihadists as well as bribes, embezzlement and convenient work. worldIs related to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and reveals that in many countries there is an accumulation of excesses within Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson. Thirty-one international media called the “Ericsson List” participated in this survey. Washington post In the United States Guardian BBC in the UK and SVT in Sweden.

The company was already upset by the embezzlement scandal, culminating in December 2019, paying more than $ 1 billion to the US judiciary in exchange for a freeze on prosecution. The facts in question cover the period 2000-2016 in five countries: China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kuwait and Djibouti. The US Department of Justice has taken the case on behalf of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which applies to extraterritoriality.

Two years later, an anonymous source provided ICIJ with three confidential documents detailing a series of other legal and ethical violations. These internal reports were produced by the Group’s Compliance Department with the help of New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Iraq, South Africa, Angola, the United States, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Bahrain, Portugal and Libya.

Long drift series

All these facts are unequal gravity. But end-to-end, they show that in many of Ericsson’s local chapters, it is possible to free themselves from the rules and laws of the group, at least for some time. And the Swedish company is having a hard time catching these excesses and sanctioning them.

The first document sent to the ICIJ is dedicated solely to the suffering of the telecommunications equipment manufacturer Iraq. Internal investigations revealed bribery payments, conflicts of interest, and uncontrollable subcontracting chains. The most serious accusations relate to the indirect finance of the country’s militia-and perhaps even the jihadists of the Islamic State organization have no formal proof of this.


Founded in Stockholm (Sweden) in 1876 with a focus on telegraph, Ericsson captured the changes in mobile phones in the 1990s and became one of the international leaders in the telecommunications market. After completely shutting down mobile phone production in 2011, the group refocused on its communications infrastructure (antennas, towers, cables, etc.).
The Swedish group, defeated by China’s Huawei in the 2010s, has returned to the forefront of the world with the introduction of 5G. With 100,000 employees in more than 140 countries, the Swedish group achieved sales of € 22 billion in 2021.

Another document, dated April 2020, wipes out some cases of potential abuse identified within Ericsson in about 10 countries. Of the 15 cases investigated in the internal investigation, only two (Croatia and China) were rejected because they were deemed not well documented.

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