NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - A unit of Japan's Panasonic
Corp is under investigation by U.S. authorities looking
at whether the company paid bribes overseas to airline employees
or government officials to help land business, the Wall Street
Citing company documents, the Journal said Panasonic
Avionics had received a subpoena looking for communications
between Panasonic Avionics, consultants and others. The subpoena
also asked for documents related to payments to the airline
employees and government officials, the newspaper said.
The Panasonic unit, which is headquartered in Lake Forest,
California, makes in-flight entertainment and communications
According to the Journal, notices were sent to executives
and employees in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The Journal said it was not clear which U.S. agency is
investigating the unit. But the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
A Panasonic Avionics spokesman told Reuters that the company
does not comment on government investigations.
The SEC and the Justice Department could not immediately be
reached for comment.