Symantec says damages from US probe may be $145 million

The U.S. is investigating the company's compliance with government contracting rules

Symantec said that the damages from a U.S. investigation into its compliance with government contracting rules may be about US$145 million.

U.S. officials are said to have conveyed in January to the company an estimate of the damages, the security software company said in a filing Monday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation and in January 2014 met with representatives of the government who presented us with an initial analysis of our actual damages exposure in the amount of approximately $145 million," Symantec said in the filing.

The company said it is in the process of evaluating the government's initial analysis, and it was possible that the investigation could lead to claims or findings of violations of the False Claims Act, which "could be material to our results of operations and cash flows for any period."

The False Claims Act is a U.S federal law setting criminal and civil penalties for false or fraudulent claims for payment or approval to the government, misrepresenting the amount of a delivered product, or under-stating an obligation to the government.

Symantec said its total sales under the General Services Administration Schedule contract were about $210 million from January 2007 to December 2011. GSA Schedule contracts, also known as Federal Supply Schedules, are long-term, indefinite delivery and quantity contracts under the GSA's Multiple Award Schedule Program, according to the GSA website.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Symantec was advised by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia that the government was investigating its compliance with the GSA contract, including with provisions relating to pricing, country of origin, accessibility and the disclosure of commercial sales practices.

Resolutions of investigations under the False Claims Act could result in the imposition of damages, including up to treble damages, plus civil penalties in some cases, Symantec said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. Department of Justicesymantecregulationsecuritylegalgovernment

More about Department of JusticeGeneral Services AdministrationGSA GroupIDGSecurities and Exchange CommissionSymantec

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John Ribeiro

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts