Private sector corruption is also a punishable criminal offense in Germany. The primary goal of this regulation is to protect the integrity of the free market.
It is a criminal offense to offer to an employee of a business or accept as an employee of a business a benefit in exchange for gaining or giving an unfair preference in the competitive purchase of goods or services in Germany or abroad (Section 299(1) GCC). The term “employee” includes anyone who is subject to instructions within a corporation, including its directors and officers if they are subject to instructions by the owner(s).
It is also a criminal offense to offer to an employee of a business or accept as an employee of a business a benefit in exchange for an action or omission in connection with the purchase of goods and services that would violate an obligation towards the employer (Section 299(2) GCC).
As a result of widespread corruption in the healthcare sector and the unique mechanics of the German public healthcare system, the German legislature has recently introduced sector-specific criminal offenses (Sections 299a and 299b GCC). Medical professionals may not, for a benefit, give an unfair preference when prescribing or using medication, health aids or medical devices or supplying patients (to colleagues) or supplying samples and diagnostic data (to certain laboratories). It is also a criminal offense to offer or grant such a benefit to a medical professional.
Collusive tendering or bid rigging is also a criminal offense in both public and private procurement processes (Section 298 GCC).