Airbus reaches deal to settle corruption probe

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Airbus says it has agreed a settlement with French, British and US authorities following lengthy investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption.

In a statement, the European planemaker said the deal was subject to approval by courts in the three countries.

The allegations have centred on the use of middlemen in plane sales.

Details have not been revealed, but reports suggest that Airbus – based in Toulouse in south-west France – could pay more than €3bn (£2.5bn) in fines.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and later its French counterpart, opened investigations into Airbus after the firm reported itself in 2016.

The SFO opened its investigation in August of that year into allegations of “fraud, bribery and corruption” in the civil aviation business of Airbus.

The firm, which employs more than 130,000 people globally – including about 10,000 in the UK – asked the regulator to look at documentation about its use of overseas agents.

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