I have always found the whole notion of a business code of ethics to be interesting and tricky. I think that companies have a legitimate interest in behaving ethically and many make an honest effort to operate in an ethical way. But at the same time the bottom line ultimately trumps any ethical question.
If the decision is between doing the wrong thing or going out of business, many corporations will do whatever it takes to survive. This does not have to be hugely evil or sinister, but when faced with failure even the most high-minded ethics can begin to crack.