The cases of corruption reported by the media tend almost always to involve a private party (a citizen or a corporation) that pays, or promises to pay, money to a public party (a politician or a public official, for example) in order to obtain an advantage or avoid a disadvantage. Because of the harm it does to economic efficiency and growth, and because of its social, political and ethical consequences, private-to-public corruption has been widely studied. Private-to-private corruption, by contrast, has been relatively neglected and only recently has started to receive the attention it deserves. The purpose of this paper is to offer some thoughts on the nature and importance of private-to-private corruption; the legal treatment it receives in some of the world's leading countries; and the measures that companies can take to combat it, with special consideration of its ethical aspects.
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