Harry Cassin Publisher and Editor

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DOJ declination for Merck

Big-pharma Merck said an SEC filing Thursday that the DOJ has closed its FCPA investigation of the company.

Merck first disclosed in 2010 that it received letters from the DOJ and SEC asking for FCPA-related information about its activities in a number of countries.

The New Jersey-based company didn't disclose what countries were involved or provide details of the investigation.

Last month, bio-science firm Baxter International said the DOJ and SEC closed their FCPA investigations that also began in 2010 and won't take further action.

In 2012, two Pfizer units paid $60 million to resolve FCPA violations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Also in 2012, Eli Lilly paid just over $29 million to resolve FCPA civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission based on bribes to government officials in Russia, Brazil, China, and Poland.

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 Here's the FCPA disclosure from Merck & Co., Inc.'s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 27, 2014:

As previously disclosed, the Company has received letters from the DOJ and the SEC that seek information about activities in a number of countries and reference the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Company has cooperated with the agencies in their requests and believes that this inquiry is part of a broader review of pharmaceutical industry practices in foreign countries. The Company has been advised by the DOJ that, based on the information that it has received, it has closed its inquiry into this matter as it relates to the Company. In the future, the Company may receive additional requests for information from either or both of the DOJ and the SEC.


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