Federal regulators are investigating Microsoft s relationship with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign government officials in return for software contracts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The investigation is preliminary and the government hasn t accused Microsoft of any wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The probe by federal lawyers is looking into alleged kickbacks made by a former Microsoft representative in China, plus the company's relationship with resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy.

Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel John Frank reportedly said the company takes the allegations seriously and is cooperating with the government.

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