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Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it takes seriously any allegations of misconduct, after a report that the US Department of Justice is investigating potential bribery by Microsoft employees in China, Romania and Italy. The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was the subject of probes by both the Justice Department and US Securities over tips from a former Microsoft employee that the company handed kickbacks to foreign government officials in return for software contracts. Microsoft rival International Business Machines Corp agreed in 2011 to pay USD 10 M to resolve charges over improper gifts to government officials in South Korea and China, but is still waiting for a judge to sign off on the deal.The Romanian Ministry of Communications affirms in a communiqué that there is a contract signed in 2009 with a consortium of companies, but the mentioned sums do not coincide with the sums provided by the contracts with the involved companies.“There is also important emphasising that, in the relations between the Ministry and its suppliers, we do not know and are not informed about the discounts they may have in the relation with their partners. In the official documents dating from 2004-2009, we identified in contract a sum similar to what you informed us about, but it is with another company, not the one you mentioned. Moreover, the respective sum was not paid by the Ministry (because of problems found in the additional document that was signed, with on-going effects) and the invoice was cancelled with the approval of the company with which the contract had been signed,” adds the communiqué.