Department of Justice Investigating HP-Autonomy Matter

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) has confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation on Nov. 21 relating to Autonomy, an enterprise search company that HP acquired in October 2011. On Nov. 20, HP disclosed it was taking an $8.8 billion charge relating to its acquisition of Autonomy, alleging "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation."

The confirmation comes in a 10-K report HP filed this week with the SEC.

Hewlett-Packard also said in the filing that it has supplied information relating to its Autonomy acquisition to the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission. HP said it is offering its full cooperation to all three agencies.

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch told Forbes he has not been contacted by any regulatory authority in connection with HP's allegations. He denies wrongdoing.

The 10-K also notes that certain HP executives and board members are named as defendants in various stockholder litigation, including a class action suit. The suits were brought shortly after the company announced the one-time, non-cash charge of $8.8 billion to account for the Autonomy acquisition. The charge was necessary, according to Hewlett-Packard, due to Autonomy's accounting and financial irregularities that misrepresented both its current and future value.

 

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