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US probes fraud claims involving firm bought by Hewlett-Packard

WASHINGTON -- U.S. authorities are probing allegations by Hewlett-Packard that a British software firm it bought out had fraudulent accounts, the U.S. tech giant said in its annual report released Thursday.

On Nov. 20, HP reported a write-down of US$8.8 billion, including more than US$5 billion it attributed to inflated data from Autonomy, acquired by HP in 2011 for more than US$10 billion.

The Californian demanded U.S. and British authorities investigate Autonomy, saying “accounting improprieties” before the acquisition led to an “overvalued” acquisition price, which forced HP to take the huge write-down in value.

“On Nov. 21, 2012, representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice advised HP that they had opened an investigation relating to Autonomy,” HP said, in its report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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