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CorpWatch Exclusives

Uruguay Presents Defense Against Philip Morris Tobacco Lawsuit
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
November 10th, 2014
Uruguay has presented a 500 page document to defend itself against an international lawsuit challenging the country's tough tobacco packaging regulations. The claim was brought by Philip Morris, the global tobacco giant, at the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC.

New European Commission Marred By Corporate Conflicts of Interest
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
November 2nd, 2014
The newly elected president of the European Commission and his cabinet - who together form the central executive body for the 28 member states of the European Union - have deep ties with powerful corporate interests that make them poor choices to support citizen rights, say critics.

Argentina Loses Court Appeal Against “Vulture” Fund Manager Paul Singer
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
June 20th, 2014
Paul Singer, the billionaire hedge fund manager, has claimed victory in a lawsuit to force Argentina to fork out almost 17 times more than he paid to buy bonds issued by the country.

U.S. Congress Did Less for Corporate Accountability in 2013
by Corporate Accountability Coalition
June 4th, 2014
The U.S. Congress saw no progresses toward corporate accountability and reining in corporate influence over public institutions in 2013, according to the newly released Corporate Accountability Coalition (CAC) Congressional Report Card.

Toyota May Pay $1 Billion To Settle Unintentional Accelerations Claims
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
February 17th, 2014
Toyota is expected to announce a billion dollar settlement with the U.S. government for failing to disclose complaints by drivers that its cars were accelerating unintentionally. News of the negotiations were reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Anglo Irish Bankers On Trial For Scheme That Led to National Collapse
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
February 12th, 2014
Three top executives at Anglo Irish bank are on trial for a secret scheme to buy their own bank’s shares that eventually triggered the 2008 collapse of the Irish economy. The bankers allegedly hatched the plan to cover up bets made by Sean Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man.

Ranbaxy Pays $500 Million Fine for Selling Bad Batches of Generic Medicines
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 14th, 2013
Ranbaxy, a subsidiary of Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, has paid a $500 million fine and pled guilty to selling adulterated drugs manufactured in India. The settlement comes 16 months after the company signed an agreement with U.S. authorities to change its ways.

Neither Admit Nor Deny: Big Business Allowed To Pay Millions to Avoid Jail
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 5th, 2013
Record fines adding up to $36 billion have been paid out in the last 12 years by multinational corporations to the U.S. government to settle charges of corruption and fraud. But are they getting away with a slap on the wrist to avoid prosecution for major crimes?

Monsanto Bullies Small Farmers Over Planting Harvested GMO Seeds
by Puck LoCorpWatch Blog
March 24th, 2013
Does Monsanto own all future generations of genetically modified seeds that it sells? The Missouri-based agribusiness giant wants farmers to pay a royalty to plant any seed that descended from a patented original. The legal decision has ramifications for other patented "inventions" that reproduce themselves like strands of DNA.

Starbucks: Espresso for Investors, Watery Americano in UK Taxes
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
October 26th, 2012
Starbucks, the Seattle-based international coffee chain, has been accused of tax avoidance in the UK. Between 1998 and 2011 the company has made £3 billion in sales but paid out just £8.6 million in taxes on sales from its 735 stores in the country.

Seven Irish Banks Investigated for Insurance Scam
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
October 8th, 2012
Seven Irish banks are being investigated by the Central Bank of Ireland for selling consumers insurance policies that they did not need. Tens of thousands of Irish consumers could get as much as €3,000 ($3,900) each in refunds.

Fake Drug Plague or Pharmaceutical Industry Attack on Generics?
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
June 13th, 2012
Are Africa and South East Asia just suffering from a deluge of fake medicines that is causing disease resistance to rise? Or are they also suffering from a deluge of poorly informed media articles, encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry that wants to make war on generic drugs?

Unsticking Food Lobbyists in Europe
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
March 6th, 2012
The European Food Safety Authority has approved new rules that will ban industry experts from serving on EFSA scientific panels related to their work. Corporate Europe Observatory says the rules are still not strong enough

The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report
by Antonia JuhaszTrue Cost of Chevron
May 25th, 2010
Chevron's 2009 Annual Report celebrates 130 years of Chevron operations. We, the communities and our allies who bear the consequences of Chevron's offshore drilling rigs, oil and natural gas production, coal fields, refineries, depots, pipelines, exploration, chemical plants, political control, consumer abuse, false promises, and much more, have a very different account to offer.

BP: Beyond Petroleum or Beyond Preposterous? (2000)
by Kenny Bruno
May 12th, 2010
In 2000 British Petroleum launched an expensive ad campaign, re-branding its corporate image into the eco-friendly "BP: Beyond Petroleum.” We said it then. When a company spends more on advertising its environmental friendliness than on environmental actions, that's greenwash. Three long weeks into the BP oil disaster roiling the Gulf of Mexico, CorpWatch's December 2000 skewering of its new image sadly, bears repeating.

Afghanistan, Inc.: A CorpWatch Investigative Report (2006)
by Fariba NawaSpecial to CorpWatch
April 30th, 2010
The recent boom in humanitarian aid has an underbelly largely invisible to charity sector outsiders. “Easy money: the great aid scam," packs a biting critique (Linda Polman, The Sunday Times Online, April 25). In 2006, CorpWatch’s "Afghanistan, Inc.", cited by Polman, drilled down on reconstruction dollars, in what’s become known as “Afghaniscam.” We bring our report to you again.

Mission Essential, Translators Expendable
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 11th, 2009
Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel supplies over 2,000 translators to the Pentagon in Afghanistan, who play a critical role in protecting local and military lives. These interpreters are a key communications link. But if they are wounded or killed, they are often left to fend for themselves. This special features video of CorpWatch interviews with three Afghan whistleblowers, recorded in country in April. Click through to hear their story.

Obama's Tax Haven Reform: Chump Change
by Charlie CraySpecial to CorpWatch
June 15th, 2009
In early May, the Obama administration announced plans to eliminate the advantages that multinationals have over domestic corporations as to the tax treatment of reinvested profits. K Street corporate lobbyists haven’t squealed so loudly since they lost their three martini lunches. The uproar draws attention away from the fact that U.S. multinationals enjoy an effective tax rate of just 2.4 percent on billions of dollars in foreign active earnings.

CorpWatch announces release of the CrocTail application and open CorpWatch API
June 8th, 2009
CorpWatch, with support from the Sunlight Foundation, announces release of the CrocTail application and open CorpWatch API. CrocTail provides an interface for browsing information about U.S. publicly traded corporations and their many foreign and domestic subsidiaries. CrocTail also serves as a demonstration of the features and data available through the CorpWatch API.

Goa Cursed By Its Mineral Wealth
by Emily BildSpecial to CorpWatch
April 23rd, 2009
Set on India's west coast, Goa is renowned as a beach paradise popular with Indian and foreign tourists alike. Just a few miles inland from the quaint restaurants and the pristine waves lapping the silver shores of India's smallest state, iron-ore mining is destroying the environment, say activists and locals.

Regulating Ramatex: Authorities Shut Out as Malaysian Investor Threatens Namibian Environment
by Moses MagadzaSpecial to CorpWatch
April 5th, 2009
For nearly six years Ramatex Textile and Garment Factory barred government regulators from entering industrial premises leased from the City of Windhoek. Ramatex came to Namibia in 2001, lured by the newly implemented African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Evidence of environmental violations finally emerged after the company absconded.

Inheriting Halliburton's Army: What Will Obama Do With KBR?
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
February 22nd, 2009
President Obama will almost certainly touch down in Baghdad and Kabul in Air Force One sometime in the coming year to meet his counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he will just as certainly pay a visit to a U.S. military base or two. Should he stay to eat with the troops, he will no less certainly choose from a menu prepared by migrant Asian workers under contract to Houston-based KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.

Book Release: "Halliburton's Army: How A Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized The Way America Makes War"
by Pratap ChatterjeeNation Books
February 3rd, 2009
In "HALLIBURTON’S ARMY: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War" (Nation Books; February 9, 2009; $26.95), muckraking journalist Pratap Chatterjee conducts a highly detailed investigation into Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR’s activities in Kuwait and Iraq, uncovering much new information about its questionable practices and extraordinary profits.

One Million Weapons to Iraq; Many Go Missing
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 22nd, 2008
An Alabama company controlled by a billionaire Kuwaiti family is the biggest supplier of guns to Iraq. These weapons were paid for by the Pentagon which has lost track of them. A new Amnesty international report says that such unrestrained global arms trading schemes may have catastrophic human rights consequences.

Toyota: Auto Industry Race to the Bottom
by Barbara BriggsSpecial to CorpWatch
September 16th, 2008
Globally, Toyota is known for its innovation and quality of products like the Prius hybrid. A closer look at operations in Japan, the Philippines, Myanmar and the U.S. reveals a story of extreme working conditions, union-busting and other corporate abuses. In Japan and elsewhere, workers are speaking out.

Absolving Your Sins and CYA: Corporations Embrace Voluntary Codes of Conduct
by Anne Landman, Center for Media and DemocracySpecial to CorpWatch
August 18th, 2008
Multinational industries like tobacco and alcohol have responded to increased global public pressure for accountability around corporate operations by creating Voluntary Codes of Conduct to self-regulate their behavior. But how are the results measuring up?

Ducking Responsibility: Entergy Spins Its Nukes
by Shay TottenSpecial to CorpWatch
August 4th, 2008
Entergy Nuclear (part of the broader Entergy energy family) is spinning off its northeastern U.S.-based nuclear power plants into a related limited liability corporation, Enexus. Stakeholders in Vermont, home of the Yankee Nuclear power plant, are less than happy, with Entergy also reneging on prior commitments to cover eventual plant decommissioning costs, potentially stranding taxpayers with much of the bill.

Dark Side of the Tourist Boom: Cruise Ship Controversies Cross Borders
by Kent PatersonSpecial to CorpWatch
July 9th, 2008
The Mexican Pacific resort of Zihuatanejo recently cancelled a major new cruise ship terminal, giving a victory to environmental activists and other opponents. However, Mexico remains the world’s Number One cruise ship destination; and with little regulation, allegations of onboard crime, and increasing militarization as regards security while ships are in port, the rapidly expanding industry is facing new challenges.

A Glittering Demon: Mining, Poverty and Politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo
by Michael DeibertSpecial to CorpWatch
June 26th, 2008
In the DRC, a nation rich in natural resources yet confounded by civil war and endemic poverty, artisanal mining communities are struggling for their livelihoods as foreign multinationals like AngloGold Ashanti rush to cash in.

Suing the Smelter: Oklahoma Town Takes on Freeport
by Eliza StricklandSpecial to CorpWatch
May 15th, 2008
Residents of the town of Blackwell, Oklahoma have brought a class action lawsuit against mining giant Freeport McMoRan. The plaintiffs say that the company's zinc smelter, which closed in 1974, left a toxic legacy in the town, including contaminated sand from the smelter that was given away for free.

Smokestack Injustice? Toxic Texas Smelter May Reopen
by Kent PatersonSpecial to CorpWatch
April 2nd, 2008
The old American Smelting and Refining Company (Asarco) copper smelter in El Paso, Texas, which has spewed out toxins for over a century, has been granted a new five-year permit. This is despite the fact that it violates international laws by polluting communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ecuador's Yasuni Park: Oil Exploration or Nature Protection?
by Agneta EnströmSpecial to CorpWatch
March 20th, 2008
Permission for Petrobras of Brazil to drill for oil in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, has been suspended, but some damage has already been done by Swedish construction giant Skanska. Unless new money is found to protect the forest, exploration may resume.

Playing with Children's Lives: Big Tobacco in Malawi
by Pilirani Semu-BandaSpecial to CorpWatch
February 25th, 2008
Cigarettes may be damaging not only your own health, but also that of some of the world's poorest children. Much of Malawi's thriving tobacco industry rests on the backs of exploited children, some as young as five years old.

Sunshine Laws to Track European Lobbyists
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
October 11th, 2007
Some 15,000 lobbyists work in Brussels where they meet secretly with European Union officials to try and influence the rules that govern the 27 countries that together form the world’s most powerful economic bloc. New guidelines will attempt to make this lobbying more public and reveal conflicts of interest.

Barrick's Dirty Secrets: Communities Respond to Gold Mining's Impacts Worldwide
May 1st, 2007
A new CorpWatch report details the operations of Barrick Gold in nine different countries, focusing on the efforts on the part of the communities to seek justice from this powerful multinational.
Download Spanish version of report

A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad: Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy
by David PhinneySpecial to CorpWatch
October 17th, 2006
Workers accuse the Kuwait contractor building the US embassy in Baghdad of smuggling low-paid South Asians into Iraq and labor trafficking. Still, the US State Department casts a blind eye on the complaints as it rushes to complete its most ambitious project ever.

An Insider in Brussels: Lobbyists Reshape the European Union
by Elke CronenbergSpecial to CorpWatch
September 18th, 2006
In order to influence the new laws that encompass the 25 countries of the European Union, now the world's largest single economy, some 15,000 lobbyists have flocked to Brussels, its political heart. The public relations firm Burson-Mastellar is one of the most active among them.

Intelligence in Iraq: L-3 Supplies Spy Support
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 9th, 2006
L-3 Communications, a little-known but gigantic military contractor, provides 300 contract intelligence experts to the Pentagon in Iraq to support operations ranging from interrogation to media analysis. The secretive $426.5 million operation, which is run out of Virginia, may be a recipe for disaster, say critics.
Also see related story, A Translator's Tale, by Pratap Chatterjee.

Some Strings Attached: Cotton, Farm subsidies tie up global trade talks
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
December 13th, 2005
West African cotton farmers are among those hardest hit by government subsidized corporate agriculture. This week in Hong Kong, trade ministers from the 148 members of the World Trade Organization meet to discusss this and other global free trade issues.

Stalled Case Against ExxonMobil Sees Movement
by Jacqueline KochSpecial to CorpWatch
July 14th, 2004
After languishing in the courts for two years, a lawsuit that accuses ExxonMobil of complicity in human rights violations is beginning to move, thanks to the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold the Alien Tort Claims Act.

Not in Their Backyard
by Jacqueline KochSpecial to CorpWatch
July 14th, 2004
Legal experts, activists, and analysts weigh impact of Supreme Court decision to uphold the Alien Tort Claims Act, commonly used by human rights groups to try cases against U.S. corporations on American soil.

Corporations Fight to Avoid Accountability
by Stephen R. Miller Special to CorpWatch
July 7th, 2004
Two years after Congress enacted the sweeping corporate-accountability act known as "SOX," corporate officials are hoping their complaints will take the teeth out of the legislation's power to regulate.