Wal-Mart says began internal probe on its activities overseas

Fri Dec 9, 2011 10:37am EST

Shopping carts are seen outside a new Walmart Express store in Chicago July 26, 2011.   REUTERS/John Gress

Shopping carts are seen outside a new Walmart Express store in Chicago July 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

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(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said in a securities filing that it has begun an internal investigation to determine if some of its employees had violated a U.S. law that bars American companies from bribing foreign officials.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday, Wal-Mart said it began conducting a voluntary internal review of its policies, procedures and internal controls pertaining to its global anti-corruption compliance program.

"The company has begun an internal investigation into whether certain matters, including permitting, licensing and inspections, were in compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," the world's largest retailer said in the filing.

Wal-Mart did not disclose any other details regarding the nature of its investigation.

The retailer said it has engaged outside lawyers and other advisors to assist in the review and is continuing to implement appropriate remedial measures.

"The company has voluntarily disclosed its internal investigation to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission," Wal-Mart said.

The company added it does not believe that the potential fallout from the probe will have an adverse material impact.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Gary Hill)

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