Oracle targets HP with new complaint

31 August 2011

Oracle has launched a counter lawsuit case against Hewlett-Packard (HP) accusing the firm of fraud over its hiring of two senior executives.

According to a court filing, Oracle alleged that HP concealed the hiring of Leo Apotheker as chief executive officer (CEO) and Ray Lane as non-executive chairman while the two firms were working on an agreement to appoint ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd at Oracle.

The filing claimed that if it had known HP was “actively concealing material information”, then the deal would have never gone ahead.

Claims follow legal action by HP against Oracle which alleged a breach of contract by the latter after it announced it would stop supporting technology software run on itanium chips.

HP, in a statement originally quoted by Bloomberg, said: “Rather than focusing on what is right for our joint customers, Oracle is relying on invented excuses to cover up its blatant disregard for its legal obligations.

“HP is resolved to enforcing Oracle’s commitments to HP and our shared customers and will continue to take actions to protect its customers’ best interests.”

The latest counter suit is the latest development in the ongoing dispute between the two technology firms.

Last year Oracle hired Mark Hurd, former chairman at HP, as co-president after he resigned his position following accusations of sexual harassment and irregularities surrounding expenses.

His former employers launched legal action against Mr Hurd, accusing him of breach of contract by accepting the new position.

By Jim Ottewill

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