Hewlett-Packard Co. will pay $55 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to win U.S. government business and other charges related to government contracts. Separately, H-P will add $10 billion to its share-buyback program. The Justice Department alleged that H-P knowingly paid “influencer fees” to systems-integrator companies in return for recommendations that federal agencies purchase H-P products.
It also alleged that H-P’s 2002 contract with the General Services Administration for computer equipment and software was defectively priced because the company provided incomplete information to contracting officers during negotiations. The developments came about as the Palo Alto, California, computer maker struggled through some turbulent times that included the resignation of its chief executive officer and a 17% slide in its share price. As expected, H-P denied that it engaged in any illegal conduct.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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