HP pays for kickbacks to DoJ but it's not guilty

The major manufacturer of printer ink announced it had reached a settlement with the Feds, but denies it did anything against the law.

Hewlett Packard, in a prepared statement, said that it had resolved an “issue” with the US courts over kick backs connected with contracts it had, er “contracted” with the US government.

A law called the Anti-Kickback Act in America prohibited vendors like HP from marketing arrangements for referrals. It’s all about rebates and the ilk.

Accenture blew the whistle on HP and other vendors. In its prepared statement, HP, now whiter than white, said the agreement meant it would take a hit of two cents on its financial third quarter.

HP “denies engaging in any illegal conduct in connection with these matters. HP has agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice, without any admission of wrongdoing, in order to resolve the allegations in full.”

So it’s a bit like a verdict in a Scottish court, which has the expression “not proven” but nevertheless HP will shell out some dosh. The DoJ contracts many deals like this. We guess the DoJ behaves a bit like traffic cameras – if HP goes through the speed limit it settles, even though obviously the case is “not proven” and it hasn’t exceeded the “kickback” limit.

So there’s no stain on the cameras. HP shares went up after the announcement.