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Telefonica Brasil Was Fined by SEC for World Cup tickets

2019-05-15 09:51 Wednesday

Telefonica Brasil SA will pay a $4.13 million civil penalty to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. securities and exchange commission. The SEC accused the company of providing incentives to 127 government officials in connection with the 2014 World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Telefonica Brasil

The SEC said on Thursday that the accounts for Telefonica Brasil failed to accurately reflect the cost of tickets and hospitality paid to officials with the ability to influence legislation, regulation and business activities related to Telefonica. Based in Sao Paulo, Telefonica Brasil is Brazil's biggest telecoms firm. It said it had violated FCPA.

Telefonica Brasil agreed to the settlement without admitting or denying wrongdoing. The company sells services under the Vivo brand and is a subsidiary of Telefonica SA.

In a statement confirming the settlement, Telefonica Brasil said it had a strong code of ethics and had been strengthening compliance and anti-corruption controls.

According to the SEC, Telefonica Brazil provided 194 World Cup tickets to 93 officials and 38 confederations cup tickets to 34 officials. Both matches were played in Brazil.

The SEC said the action "arose from an environment in which the company failed to fully implement its anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies". These include Telefonica Brasil's General Ethics Code, which, like its parent company's, prohibits gift-giving that "may reward or influence business decisions", the company said.

The settlement documents describe an email from June 2014. In the email, an employee sought a World Cup ticket for a legislative chief of staff.

The SEC said the fine reflected the company's cooperative attitude and remedies.

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