European aircraft maker Airbus will pay 3.592 billion euros ($3.98 billion) to settle a corruption investigation by U.S., British and French authorities into contract deals, French financial prosecutors said on Friday. The simultaneous settlement between Britain, France and the UNITED States means that the European aircraft maker avoided prosecution, removing the legal cloud that has hung over Europe’s biggest aviation group for years.
There was no immediate word on whether the individual would face charges.
Airbus has reached an agreement with French financial prosecutors to settle corruption charges for 2.08 billion euros. British and U.S. authorities are expected to announce their settlement later Friday.
It is the biggest bribery case to date, and anti-corruption experts say the settlement ends a nearly four-year-old crisis. The crisis has led to a comprehensive management overhaul of the company and delayed plans to redeploy its cash surplus.
Although the fine is huge, if criminal proceedings are filed, the company could be barred from public contracts by the United States and the European Union, a huge setback for one of Europe’s largest defence and aerospace companies.
French and British authorities have previously launched an investigation into the European aircraft maker over allegations of corruption in aircraft sales more than a decade ago. It also faces a U.S. investigation into alleged export control violations.