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WSJ Law Blog: Are the lawyers to blame for the HP-Autonomy mess?

As details continue to unfold, all parties are pointing fingers

As soon as the dust began to settle after yesterday’s news that Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) was going to take an $8.8 billion hit thanks to misrepresentations by a software company it purchased last year, the finger-pointing began.

Of course, HP wasn’t shy about immediately blaming U.K.-based Autonomy for fraud. “HP is extremely disappointed to find that some former members of Autonomy’s management team used accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company, prior to Autonomy’s acquisition by HP,” the company said in a statement yesterday. “These efforts appear to have been a willful effort to mislead investors and potential buyers, and severely impacted HP management’s ability to fairly value Autonomy at the time of the deal.”


Cathleen Flahardy

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