Merck's Foreign Sales Practices Probed

Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are probing drugmaker Merck & Co. for possibly violating anti-bribery laws.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) -- Two federal agencies are probing drugmaker Merck & Co. for possibly violating anti-bribery laws.

The company says it has received letters from both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The letters "seek information about activities in a number of countries and reference the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," according to Merck.

The act bars U.S. companies from bribing government or corporate officials in other countries to win business.

Merck disclosed the investigation in a filing with the SEC.

The company has a history of trouble with regulators over promotion of its products. Merck is already operating under a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the government covering its promotional practices and price reporting.

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