When the only thing clear is the lack of clarity

An “exclusive” report from Reuters this week suggests U.S. authorities are poised to put the retail industry under the microscope as a result of Walmart’s bribery scandal in Mexico.

The news agency reported that U.S. authorities are considering launching a wide-ranging examination of the retail industry for violations of an anti-foreign bribery law, after Walmart and other retailers have come forth with their own potential offenses. People familiar with the matter were cited as sources, and these sources also noted that the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are considering a sweep of the entire industry. The anonymous sources are said to be working with companies who have self-reported suspicions of their own possible transgressions to the government agencies.

In addition to the anonymous sources and unnamed companies, things really get muddy in the report when Reuters leaps to the conclusion that the entire retail industry could face an expensive legal headache that could last for years even though it is unclear which firms would be included in the potential sweep the anonymous sources said the government is possibly considering.

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