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SAP Reaches Deal With U.S. After Violating Iran Sanctions

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(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department said German software company SAP SE entered into a non-prosecution agreement after being the first company to come forward and voluntarily disclose that it violated export and sanctions laws related to Iran.

Under the accord, the company voluntarily admitted it illegally exported thousands of software products to companies in Iran and front companies outside of Iran in violation of sanctions and agreed to help U.S. agencies conduct further investigations, the department announced Thursday.

SAP -- Europe’s biggest software maker -- agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $8 million as part of a resolution with the U.S. departments of Justice, Commerce and Treasury.

“This could have been far worse for SAP had we discovered this on our own,” John Demers, head of the Justice Department’s national security division, told reporters Thursday. “The message now is for other companies that may be in their shoes is to see from this case the clear benefit of coming forward and self-disclosing potential willful violations.”

The company said in a statement that it welcomed a resolution of the issue.

“We accept full responsibility for past conduct, and we have enhanced our internal controls to ensure compliance with applicable laws,” SAP said. “Our significant remediation efforts, combined with our full and proactive cooperation with U.S. authorities, have led to a mutually agreeable resolution of the Iran investigation without the imposition of an external monitor.”

(Updates with company statement from fifth paragraph)

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