These five images illustrate a corrupt business relationship and subsequent investigation.
If the figure on the right, say, someone handing out licenses or contracts, received bribes from the figure at the bidding company on the left, then the law would say, that relationship is no longer at arm’s length.
Instead, the relationship has some magic ‘pull’ that makes the awarded contract/license go to the same bidder again and again.
For the co-bidders it’s difficult to work out what that magic pull is, but if they find any hints that the relationship is corrupt, they might consider triggering an investigation.
The longer the corrupt payments continue, the trickier it gets for the figure on the left to extract itself from that problematic relationship.
And if an investigation does follow, then those involved might conclude that what seemed like a good idea at the start has hit them quite painfully in the end.
So is it worth starting a discussion challenging such relationships? See here for common phrases in such discussions.