Telia bosses in musical bribe probe

The chief executive of TeliaSonera, Anders Igel, is being threatened with prosecution for bribery by Swedish authorities after he invited 200 business leaders and civil servants to the Abba musical Mamma Mia in Stockholm.

Igel has been questioned by police about the April event along with Marie Ehrling, head of the company’s Swedish operations.

The event, which also included a buffet dinner, was reported by Swedish police chief Stefan Strömberg, who was himself a guest of TeliaSonera’s.

Strömberg contacted chief prosecutor Christer van der Kwast, who started an investigation.

The company insists that the event was just normal corporate hospitality, and that it has done nothing wrong.

The Finnish chairman of TeliaSonera told Dagens Nyheter that the investigation seemed “pretty unreal” from a Finnish perspective.

“This is the kind of thing that just about all companies do – taking care of customers,” said Tom von Weymarn.

“I can’t see any substance in the case.”

According to an expert at the Stockholm School of Economics, the event could be seen as a bribe if it had the “wow effect”.

Hans de Geer, a professor in company ethics, told news agency TT that in order for the event not to be seen as a bribe, it would have to be shown that it was used for developing a relationship with a client, and “not as a perk for work contacts.”