Well this sounds familiar: The New York Times publishes a damaging story
on a (arguably) well-loved and (not arguably) successful brand, their
public reputation wanes, and then the investigations surface. Multiple
unnamed sources at Wal-Mart have told Bloomberg and The Washington Post that the company is being investigated by the Justice Department and has been since December. The Washington Post‘s Sari Horwitz and Jia Lynn Yang report that Wal-Mart has also met with the SEC over this weekend.
Even though the investigation has been going on since December, it was largely kept under wraps until The New York Times story this weekend blew the lid open (Apple and Goldman Sachs
can relate) and discovered that Wal-Mart de Mexico had paid more than
$24 million in bribes in construction permits in the country. Though the
Times reported the misgivings and bribes on Sunday, it appears
they actually took place in 2005–which means, this December’s probe
was, well, seriously lagging behind.
So what can we expect?