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Tuesday
Sep302014

Agilent Technologies China probe ends in double declination

Agilent Technologies said in a securities filing Monday that a year-long FCPA investigation into sales practices in China by third-party intermediaries and company employees ended this month, with both the SEC and DOJ saying they wouldn't bring an enforcement action.

Santa Clara, California-based Agilent received a letter on September 15 from the SEC saying its investigation was completed and the enforcement division didn't recommend any SEC action against the company.

And on September 24, Agilent said, it received a letter from the DOJ saying the agency "had closed its inquiry into the matter, citing the company’s voluntary disclosure and thorough investigation."

Agilent makes testing and measurement equipment used in the medical industry.

It trades on the NYSE under the symbol A.

The company was founded by Bill Hewlett and David Packard and was spun out of H-P in 1999 in one of the biggest IPOs at the time in Silicon Valley.

Agilent said in September last year a routine internal audit found compliance problems in China.

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Here's the full FCPA disclosure from the Form 8-K filed by Agilent Technologies, Inc. on September 29, 2014:

On September 6, 2013, Agilent Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”) disclosed in its Form 10-Q that it had initiated an internal investigation relating to certain sales of Company products through third party intermediaries in China and compliance by Company employees in China with the requirements of
the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable laws and regulations. The Company further disclosed that it had voluntarily advised the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) of the investigation.

On September 15, 2014, the Company received a letter from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement stating that its investigation had been completed and that the Division of Enforcement did not intend to recommend any enforcement action against the Company by the SEC.

On September 24, 2014, the Company received a letter from DOJ stating that DOJ had closed its inquiry into the matter, citing the Company’s voluntary disclosure and thorough investigation.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.