San Francisco — A US bribery investigation at ride-hailing company Uber Technologies will probably go on for a year or more and could lead to snowballing legal and compliance costs if lawyers find systemic problems.

Uber, which is the subject of a US probe into whether it paid bribes overseas, had started a review of its Asian operations and notified US authorities about payments made by staff to police officers in Indonesia, a person familiar with the matter said.

What is under investigation? Uber said in August that it was co-operating with a preliminary investigation led by the US justice department into whether its managers violated a 1977 anti-bribery law known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law bars US companies and some other entities from paying bribes to foreign government officials to obtain business.

How much money is at stake? There is a wide range for the potential financial impact on Uber. The company will have to pay law firm O’Melveny & Myers and any other lawyers it hires. It may need to increase its spending on compliance training for employees.

How much of a distraction can it be? This depends on the scope of the investigation, but a probe can cause turmoil within a company.


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