Feeds

HP's Mercury settles over options scandal

Hefty $117.5m to resolve case

Security for virtualized datacentres

HP-owned software maker Mercury is to settle an options backdating class action lawsuit by coughing up a staggering $117.5m.

The firm was previously known as Mercury Interactive before HP bought it for $4.5bn last year.

According to the Financial Times, Mercury will pay the biggest settlement of its kind, dwarfing amounts paid in similar cases in the US.

The firm, which had somewhat ironically provided regulatory compliance software to its users in the past, was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of share options backdating between 1997 and 2002.

As we reported in May this year, the SEC had accused Mercury's former chief executive Amon Landen, former chief financial officers Sharlene Abrams and Douglas Smith, and former general counsel Susan Skaer of aiding and abetting violations of anti-fraud laws between 1997 and 2005.

Landen quit the firm in 2005 when the share allocation scandal first broke. Mercury's shares were later suspended from the Nasdaq stock market and HP swooped in to buy the harangued company in July 2006.

Mercury had agreed in May to pay $25m to settle its case with the SEC.

At the time of HP's takeover of Mercury, the computer and printer giant's chief executive Mark Hurd said: "We've been thinking about this for a while. It has to be a deal that makes sense. This transaction demonstrates HP is building a software business that is to be reckoned with."

The Mercury case was said to have been agreed in principle but is still awaiting approval from the courts, the outcome of which should see money put "back in the hands of shareholders", reports the FT.

Undoubtedly feeling the sting, HP said yesterday that it had agreed to a settlement, but stayed quiet on providing any further details. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.