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The DOJ is looking into claims that Uber violated foreign bribery laws

Uber is cooperating with the preliminary investigation.

A smartphone showing the Uber app on its screen being tapped by a finger Zhang Peng / Getty

Uber is fielding questions from a federal agency for the third time this year.

The Department of Justice is beginning to look into claims that Uber violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign officials to obtain and retain businesses.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the investigation. Uber has confirmed that it is cooperating with the agency’s inquiry, which is in the preliminary stages.

This is the second time the DOJ probed the company; the previous time, it was for Uber’s use of software to avoid local authorities. The company also recently settled an FTC investigation into its privacy practices, agreeing to 20 years of privacy checkups.

Uber operates in more than 80 countries around the world, and has come up against initial resistance from local officials in many of those regions. While the company is still seeing roadblocks in some parts of Europe, it has scaled relatively quickly in parts of Asia and Latin America.

The company recently faced regulatory issues in the Philippines, which was the first country to pass nationwide ride-hail regulations. Uber was suspended for a month after failing to follow an order from local officials to stop adding drivers to its platform. On Tuesday, Uber restarted its operations there after paying a penalty.

We’ve reached out to a spokesperson for the Justice Department, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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