The Justice Department said Microsoft will also pay an $8.75 million criminal fine stemming from the Hungarian bid-rigging and bribery scheme. Federal prosecutors said that from 2013 through 2015, a senior executive and other employees at the Hungary office took part in a scheme to "inflate margins in the Microsoft sales channel" in connection with Microsoft software licenses sold to Hungarian government agencies.
Savings were falsely recorded as discounts and used for corrupt purposes, the prosecutors said. Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a letter to employees Monday that the misconduct was "completely unacceptable" and involved a small number of employees.
Smith outlined changes to prevent public sector discounts from being used improperly and said the company is expanding its use of artificial intelligence to flag suspicious transactions.