Feeds

HP's Mercury settles over options scandal

Hefty $117.5m to resolve case

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.