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Report: US SEC probing GE, Philips, Siemens for bribing Chinese officials

The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission is investigating General Electric Co., Koninklijke Philips NV and Siemens AG for allegedly using middlemen to bribe Chinese government officials and hospital representatives to buy medical equipment, Reuters reported June 4.

All three companies denied any wrongdoing and denied knowledge of the alleged investigations. The companies could be facing fines for violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the news outlet noted.

The investigation is part of the U.S. government's efforts to stop alleged corruption in the international medical device market, according to anonymous sources who spoke to Reuters.

The news comes a few weeks after it was reported that the three companies and Johnson & Johnson are part of an F.B.I. investigation in Brazil. The investigation is regarding the companies allegedly paying off officials in South America to gain government contracts to sell medical devices and equipment.

Reuters reported June 4 that all four companies denied any wrongdoing in Brazil.