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Daimler in the dock

The scale, at least, is impressive: German luxury carmaker Daimler AG has admitted to paying tens of millions in bribes to foreign governments for a full ten years.

The company, owner of prestige car marque Mercedes-Benz, has pleaded guilty to corruption in a US court and agreed to pay a huge $185 million (£121 million) settlement.

Tens of millions is clearly bribery on a serious scale. It was aimed at helping the company to secure government contracts in such countries as China, Russia and Greece.

All highly illegal of course – although not necessary that unusual a business practice in some parts of the world. Daimler has accepted its wrongdoing, reformed its operating procedures and fired 45 employees.

Selling luxury cars is clearly a high stakes game.

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