SAP to pay $20M to settle criminal charges

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? German business software maker SAP AG has agreed to pay $20 million to settle criminal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice against a now-defunct subsidiary, TomorrowNow.

The subsidiary was accused of 12 counts of fraud and copyright infringement for stealing documents from rival Oracle Corp.’s password-protected websites. SAP has acknowledged the theft and shut down the division. The $20 million penalty is twice what SAP had paid to acquire TomorrowNow in 2005.

The settlement does not resolve a bigger problem for SAP.

A jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion last year in a civil lawsuit against SAP. But a judge later threw out the award, calling it “grossly excessive.” Oracle has refused to accept the judge’s recommendation for a $272 million award, setting the stage for a new trial.