Wal-Mart Lobbying in India?
In 2012, as part of a routine disclosure under U.S. law, Wal-Mart revealed it had spent $25 million since 2008 on lobbying to "enhance market access for investment in India." This disclosure, which came weeks after the Indian government made a controversial decision to permit FDI in the country's multi-brand retail sector, created uproar in India. Lobbying by multinationals drew strong emotions in India, evoking images of the millions spent by Enron in the 1990s to "educate Indians" - a suspected euphemism for bribery. Opposition political parties accused Wal-Mart of bribing the Indian government, which, on the eve of a general election, appointed a judicial commission to investigate Wal-Mart. Already under pressure from allegations of bribery in Mexico, Wal-Mart risked becoming embroiled in another embarrassing scandal. How had the company landed in its current situation and how could it respond to the investigation into its India-related lobbying?