Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Foreign Bribery, Uber, GE, Google

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

08/19/2019

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A Push to Let the U.S. Charge Foreign Officials for Bribery

One of the hallmarks of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been that it cannot be used against a foreign official who demands or takes a bribe for helping a company win a contract or retain business.

A bill introduced in Congress this month seeks to change that. Called the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act, the legislation would expand the prohibition on bribery to foreign officials who demanded or solicited bribes. read more »

Uber’s battle for Buenos Aires is shaking rule of law in Argentina

Just 12 hours after Uber’s service became available in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, taxi industry representatives took the company – and the city’s administration – to court. The case was similar to those faced by the company in London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Budapest, Frankfurt and several US states and Canadian provinces. Uber has faced legal challenges in relation to labour and licensing regulations, as well as allegations of misuse of data and tax avoidance.

Uber’s expansion has become a global epic with regional episodes. While the specifics differ, the terms of the debate remain the same. On one side: the rhetoric of inevitable technological progress and free choice. On the other: claims that precarious work and exploitation have reappeared in a sleeker guise.

Yet the Buenos Aires instalment of the saga is, in some ways, unique. In other places, Uber has acted on authorities’ demands – in some cases leaving those markets entirely, in others reforming or waiting for new regulations to develop. But on 22 April 2016, when a Buenos Aires judge declared Uber’s activities to be in breach of local laws and ordered the immediate blockade of the app, Uber simply continued its operations. read more »

General Electric renews defense against charges of bogus accounting

General Electric Co. further defended itself on Monday against fraud investigators who said last week the Boston-based conglomerate had failed to put aside money to cover $29 billion in potential insurance losses and had improperly counted profit from subsidiary Baker Hughes as its own.

GE's comments follow a report www.gefraud.com last week that alleged there was fraud in the company's accounting. GE has disclosed that its accounting is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. read more »

Fearing data privacy issues, Google cuts some Android phone data for wireless carriers

Alphabet Inc’s Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, because of Google’s concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators.

Even though the data were anonymous and the sharing of it has become commonplace, Google’s move illustrates how concerned the company has become about drawing attention amid a heightened focus in much of the world on data privacy. read more »