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Copying corporate behaviour

As NGOs struggled for binding international rules to make corporations socially and economically accountable at this year’s World Summit on Sustainable Development, yet another story was unfolding to illustrate why such rules are needed. US photocopier giant Xerox has over 50-per-cent market share in photocopiers in India. In August this year, Press Trust of India reported that authorities in India were investigating 85 accounts through which Xerox was believed to have paid bribes to government officials to win sales. This followed April litigation in the US which concluded in Xerox paying a record $10 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The payment was made to settle charges that Xerox overstated its financial results by $3 billion over four years in order to defraud investors and inflate its earnings.