[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 22:16 GMT
HP pays $14.5m to end 'spy' probe
HP laptops
HP is not admitting any guilt through the payment
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has agreed to pay $14.5m (7.4m) to settle a civil lawsuit over its much-criticised investigation into a boardroom leak.

The probe by the Californian attorney general came after allegations that HP had wrongly spied on its directors to try and find the source of the leak.

HP said its payment to the attorney general's office did not mean it accepted any liability.

The spying scandal led to the departure of the firm's chairman Patricia Dunn.

Fortunately, Hewlett-Packard is not Enron
Californian attorney general

She stood down with immediate effect in September.

The firm said in a statement on Friday that the attorney general would not now pursue civil claims against the company or against its current and former directors, managers and employees.

'Very disturbing'

The firm admitted in September that in a bid to discover which director had leaked "confidential" reports to the press, it had hired private investigators.

HP chairwoman Patricia Dunn
Patricia Dunn left HP with immediate effect in September

These were then accused of tapping phone calls and emails of HP directors and a number of journalists.

The investigators were said to have illegally gained phone records by pretending to be the people they were spying on, a practice known as "pretexting".

HP's chief executive Mark Hurd has already admitted that the methods the investigators used to try and identify who was behind the boardroom leaks were "very disturbing".

Californian attorney general Bill Lockyer praised HP for fully cooperating.

"Fortunately, Hewlett-Packard is not Enron," he said.

"I commend the firm for cooperating instead of stonewalling, for taking instead of shirking responsibility, and for working with my office to expeditiously craft a creative resolution."

HP is still also being investigated by a Congressional committee.


SEE ALSO
HP chairman to leave immediately
22 Sep 06 |  Business
US Congress wades into HP crisis
11 Sep 06 |  Business
Hewlett faces US attorney probe
06 Sep 06 |  Business
Hewlett's revenues beat targets
16 Aug 06 |  Business
Hewlett Packard posts profit jump
17 May 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific