In the 1970’s the ‘Watergate’ investigations revealed illegal contributions to Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) then encouraged US companies to self-disclose on the basis that if they self-disclosed they would be exempt from prosecution.
500 companies, including the top 100 companies came forward and collectively declared over USD$300m in illegal campaign contributions. After this in 1977, Jimmy Carter signed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) into law.
Under the FCPA, US authorities can prosecute conduct occurring outside the US, which has some connection with the US.
More recently in the United Kingdom the UK Bribery Act 2010 was introduced and is seen as the most comprehensive anti-bribery legislation that exists today.