How the FCPA’s Interstate Commerce Requirement Should Apply to Free Email Services

To establish FCPA jurisdiction, U.S. authorities have relied on a broad interpretation of the term “interstate commerce” to bring enforcement actions based on extraterritorial conduct without any tangible connection to, or action in, the United States. Indeed, enforcement actions have been repeatedly brought against companies that use free email services, such as Hotmail and Gmail, that have servers located in the U.S. Jurisdiction has been claimed based primarily on emails being routed through or stored on those servers without any other meaningful contact with the United States. In a guest article, Maxwell Carr-Howard, a partner at Dentons, and his associate Matthew Lafferman, argue that these kinds of cases are an overreach and offer an alternative interpretation of the FCPA interstate commerce requirement. See “The History and Reach of dd-3 Jurisdiction and Lessons for Companies Investigating Potential Violations” (Apr. 18, 2018).

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