In recent years, both the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have stepped up their enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including to address violations in India. While it remains to be seen whether this increased enforcement by U.S. regulators will be accompanied by a concerted and sustained anti-corruption push on the part of Indian enforcement authorities, there has been an uptick in anti-corruption efforts in India in the last five years.
It is therefore essential for Indian corporations and for multinationals conducting business in India to develop and implement robust anti-corruption/anti-bribery plans. Such compliance plans can provide a good defense should enforcement actions arise notwithstanding best efforts at compliance. At the same time, multinational corporations consider the risks associated with acquiring, investing in, entering into a joint venture or otherwise partnering with an Indian corporation that does not have a robust compliance program to be quite high, perhaps unacceptably so. Seen in this light, Indian companies that take a proactive approach to compliance also will enjoy a competitive advantage over peer companies that do not.
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