HP in multimillion dollar settlement with US government

1 September 2010

1 September 2010 | Angeline Albert  

Computer manufacturer HP has agreed to pay $55 million (£36 million) to settle a US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation into the alleged incorrect billing of the government’s procurement agency.

The money will settle a DoJ case concerning a claim that a 2002 contract for computer equipment and software between HP and the General Services Administration - the government's procurement body - was wrongly priced because the supplier gave incomplete information.

The payment also covers the settlement of another claim the DoJ brought against HP in 1997. This case alleged that the IT firm paid other companies to recommend its products to government buyers.

Gina Tyler, a spokeswoman for HP, said in a statement: "HP denies engaging in any illegal conduct in connection with these matters. We believe it is in the best interest of our stakeholders to resolve the matter and move beyond this issue."

In financial results published last month HP announced it would reduce earnings on its shares by two cents each to cover the cost of the settlement.

Last month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled its case against microprocessor manufacturer Intel. The settlement would help restore competition lost as a result of Intel’s alleged past anti-competitive tactics, the FTC said. Intel said the settlement agreement expressly states it does not admit either any violation of law or that the facts alleged in the complaint are true.

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