by Billy MacInnes
HP has agreed to pay a settlement to the US Department of Justice to end a three year investigation into alleged kick-backs being paid to channel partners from government contracts.
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The vendor said it would take a charge of 2 cents per share on third quarter earnings this year to pay for the settlement.
HP denied that it had engaged in any illegal conduct in connection with the investigation, but had "agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice, without any admission of wrongdoing, in order to resolve the allegations in full".
The investigation centred on HP's GSA multiple award scheme contract and allegations associated with a complaint filed by Norman Rille and Neal Roberts in the US District Court in the Eastern District of Arkansas in 2007.
In addition to HP, Sun and Accenture also featured in allegations that the companies had paid discounts to channel partners which should have been returned to the US government.