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Airbus Reaches $4 Billion Deal in Principle to Settle Corruption Investigations

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Airbus has reached potential settlement deals with authorities in the U.S., Britain and France that would conclude years of investigations into alleged fraud, bribery and corruption, the company announced Tuesday.

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In a statement, Airbus confirmed that it has “reached agreement in principle” to pay out a record €3.6 billion or nearly $4 billion, noting that the deals must be approved by courts in all three countries.

The French financial prosecutor’s office and British Serious Fraud Office have been investigating alleged fraud and bribery related to Airbus’ use of outside consultants to sell planes since 2016 while the U.S. Department of Justice began looking into the company’s compliance with American arms trafficking regulations in 2018.

The potential settlements are significant in that they would mean executives wouldn’t have to face trial.

Airbus said that the court hearings in Britain, France and the U.S. are expected on Friday, adding that payment of potential penalties will be booked in the company’s 2019 accounts.

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