HP pays $47m to settle US overcharging case


HP pays $47m to settle US overcharging case

Warwick Ashford

Hewlett-Packard has reached a $47m settlement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over claims the supplier overcharged the government on multiple federal contracts.

The DoJ joined a court case against HP started by two former employees who accused the computer maker of paying kickbacks to consultants who recommended HP products for government contracts.

The case alleged that HP paid a list of systems integrators millions of dollars in "influencer fees" if they successfully put HP products forward in government deals, according to the Financial Times.

The integrators had an obligation to act in the government's best interest but did not, the law suit said.

News of the settlement comes in the same week that the US DoJ filed a civil suit in a federal court against Oracle, accusing the company of overcharging the federal government for software.

The DoJ said Oracle had failed to give the government the same discounts on software as commercial customers.

Like the HP suit, the DoJ case against Oracle comes after a former employee acted as a whistle-blower in May 2007 and made a similar complaint against Oracle.

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