WSJ: Justice asks for records in HP bribery investigation

The Department of Justice has asked Hewlett-Packard to turn over internal records as part of an international investigation into allegations HP executives paid bribes to Russian government officials, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

German prosecutors are looking into the possibility that HP executives paid almost $11 million in bribes to win a contract in excess of $40 million to sell computers to the office of the Russian Federation's prosecutor general through a German subsidiary. American and Russian authorities have joined the investigation, according to the report.

The Justice department has asked HP to comply with the request rather than subpoenaing the records, and HP has reportedly not supplied all of them yet. The Justice request came after German authorities reportedly complained the firm refused to supply them with all the records requested.

An HP spokesman told WSJ that the company is cooperating with the investigation, but didn't provide details. HP has said the investigation involves people who have largely left the company — the matters concerned date back as far as seven years.

Aside from the German probe, according to people familiar with the matter, HP is also reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department and Security and Exchange Commission for possibly violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the law that outlaws bribes to foreign officials.