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DOJ opens Wal-Mart criminal investigation

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation of Wal-Mart following a New York Times report that the company paid bribes to officials in its Mexican business, the Washington Post is reporting on its website.

The post cited three sources familiar with the matter.

Read the Post report here.

A New York Times article published over the weekend said executives deliberately obstructed an internal probe into bribery at Wal-Mart de Mexico, the company's largest international division.

The allegations, if proven true, could badly hamper the company and its management for years. They could lead to a time-consuming global probe, substantial financial penalties imposed by U.S. authorities and the departure of some executives, experts said.

Previously: Wal-Mart still a buy, analyst says

Wal-Mart bribery allegations could have far-reaching impact