Influence peddling is often viewed as synonymous with bribery, the practice of using money, wealth, personal undertaking, or gifts to purchase a favorable outcome or decision from an official, government officeholder, or public authority. Typically, bribery involves direct provision of financial inducements by a private interest to a public official in exchange for a decision beneficial to the purchaser. Common examples involve corporate bribery of government representatives in exchange for a policy favorable to the corporation or for a government contract with the company.

Some make a distinction between bribery and influence peddling and focus on the role of third-party entities in the latter. In this definition, influence peddling involves payment to a third party, which is then responsible for influencing the decision-making entity. It is ...

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