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Airbus and the web of corruption

Sally March ( is Director, Drummond March & Co, in London, UK.

In January, Airbus agreed to pay $4 billion in penalties in France, Britain, and the US to settle corruption and export control charges and avoid a bar on government business, which is, literally, its license to operate. The amount set a record and a precedent for France as an enforcer. The US district judge called it “a pervasive and pernicious bribery scheme.”[1] Some lawyers involved spoke of “drawing a line under” the investigation. No; as Winston Churchill might have said, this is just the end of the beginning.

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