Serious Fraud Office of UK has reached a settlement in the Airbus case. In accordance with the agreement on the postponement of the prosecution (DPA - Deferred Prosecution Agreement), which was announced in the last week of January after the investigation carried out by the SFO and approved by the courts of the three countries; it was decided for Airbus to pay € 3.6 billion in total, not only to the UK authorities, but also to the French and US authorities.
The investigation was initiated by SFO in 2016 after Airbus asked from SFO to examine its documents related to overseas sales and later on the investigation was expanded with the participation of PNF. As a part of the investigation, allegations of usage of middleman and bribery in overseas sales deals were investigated by the authorities, and it turned out that Airbus executives paid a $ 50 million under the sponsorship to a sports club owned by an airline to secure a contract involving 180 aircraft. In another agreement, it was revealed that one of the managers of the airline company was employed as a consultant, although she/he did not have any knowledge and experience on aviation. With the progress in investigation; the UK, French and German authorities frozen the export credit applications made by Airbus; however, this decision was reversed in 2018.
In the investigation, where the sentence is expected to reach much higher levels, cooperation of Airbus with the authorities and self-reporting on the subject led to a reduction in the penalty. Airbus also replaced the executive staff and changed significantly overseas sales operations of Airbus after the investigation was initiated.