It's the way of the world
In the US, the kickbacks and bribes are much lower scale than the rest of the world, but the IT world is full of little stories like this here and there. A reseller pays the purchasing manager $20K to get on the preferred vendor list. A CIO gets pumped full of booze, golf and strip club visits until he signs the exclusive deal with Oracle/SAP/Microsoft. The CEO overrides the bidding on a contract to give his brother's company a sweetheart deal. The only reason this guy got caught was because there was at least some public scrutiny. If Detroit wasn't in such bad financial shape, I'll bet this would have never come to light.
I'm not saying it's right, but it does happen. Often the scale is so small in the context of a larger deal that companies just factor it into the cost of winning the business.