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HP pays to end kickback probe

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HP is taking a two cents per share charge to end a Department of Justice investigation into bribery allegations.

The company stressed that it was not admitting any wrongdoing, of course.

The DOJ investigation began in 2007 and included Accenture and Sun.

It centred on allegations that the three companies improperly charged for government contracts by either snaffling discounts or handing them onto channel partners rather than back to the government. The DOJ said at the time: "These alliance relationships and the resulting alliance benefits amount to kickbacks and undisclosed conflict of interest relationships."

HP said the deal with the DOJ would have "a negative impact of approximately 2 cents on third quarter fiscal year 2010 earnings per share". It did not otherwise update guidance.

HP's statement is here.

The settlement still needs court approval. ®

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