The alleged false accounting by Autonomy's management prior to the British software firm's US$10.2 billion acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Co. has resulted in investigations into Autonomy's financial reporting by the U.S. department of justice and the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office, according to multiple media reports, including this one in The Guardian. (See HP Claims Fraud by Autonomy Team.)
But news of the investigations, which came to light in this regulatory filing by HP (page 46), should not be taken as meaningful in itself, according to industry analyst Richard Windsor, who is never short of an entertaining and informed opinion.
In his daily "Radio Free Mobile" analysis on matters technology, Windsor notes that news of the probes "means nothing … The important thing to remember here is that an investigation was always going to happen whether the case merits a prosecution or not."
Windsor adds sagely: "It is what is concluded from the investigation and whether the investigative agencies decide to follow up with a prosecution that really matters."
And Windsor is of the view that the outcome will likely leave HP "with egg all over its face," an opinion he first shared in this Jan. 9 analysis.
For more on Windsor's views on the HP/Autonomy scrap, see HPQ vs. Autonomy – Non-starter.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading