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US Department of Justice to investigate Hewlett-Packard's takeover of Autonomy

By Gillian West | Social media manager

December 28, 2012 | 2 min read

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has confirmed it is to investigate Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of UK firm Autonomy.

HP was informed last month that the DOJ was looking into the takeover which took place in 2011. HP bought the software group but claimed earlier in the year it has "inflated" its value leading to a £3 billion ($5 billion) write-off linking it to "serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures."

The UK's Serious Fraud Office is also also working with HP after it asked both US and UK authorities to investigate the misrepresentations of Autonomy's finances.

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Speaking to the BBC a spokesperson commented: "As a result of the findings of an ongoing investigation, HP has provided information to the UK Serious Fraud Office, the US Department of Justice and the SEC related to the accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and misrepresentations at Autonomy that occurred prior to and in connection with HP's acquisition of Autonomy.

"On November 21, 2012, representatives of the US Department of Justice advised HP that they had opened an investigation relating to Autonomy. HP is cooperating with the three investigating agencies."

Adding the software giant had no further comment other than what it had filed with regulators.

Deloitte and KPMG, accountants involved in the purchase, are also being sued for their roles. Both have denied any wrong doing.

Mike Lynch, the former head of Autonomy, has said he was "shocked and appalled by the allegations" and has openly rejected the claims that Autonomy management misrepresented the software company's value.

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