Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/31/hp_doj_settle/

HP pays to end fraud probe

And starts buy-back scheme

By John Oates

Posted in Hardware, 31st August 2010 08:24 GMT

HP is paying $55m to end an investigation into government procurement which suggested the ink giant was paying kickbacks to its channel partners in order to get government contracts.

HP said it was paying to end the investigation earlier this month, without admitting any guilt.

Assistant US Attorney General Tony West said: "As this case demonstrates, we will take action against those who seek to taint the government procurement process with illegal kickbacks," the SJ Mercury reports.

The case centred on payment of "influencer fees" to consultants paid to help government procurement projects. These were described as discounts or rebates but the DoJ was concerned they created a conflict of interest for channel partners supposedly looking for the best deals.

The DoJ continues to investigate Sun Microsystems and Accenture over similar allegations.

In other news HP told the SEC Monday that it intends to buy back $10bn of its own shares. In the quarter ended 31 July HP bought back $2.6bn of its own stock.

The SEC filing is here. ®