Bloomberg News

Oracle Accuses HP of Fraud, Libel in Cross-Complaint Suit

August 30, 2011

(Updates with HP statement in sixth paragraph.)

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. accused Hewlett-Packard Co. of fraud and libel, saying a settlement agreement between the two companies over Oracle’s hiring of former HP chief Mark Hurd was unfair and that HP defamed Oracle with allegations that the company bullies its customers.

The accusations came in counter claims by Oracle in a pending HP lawsuit filed in June. HP has accused Oracle of moving from partner to “bitter antagonist” by hiring away its chief executive officer and withdrawing support for its database software on HP computers that use the Itanium chip.

In today’s filing in California state court in San Jose, Oracle alleged that HP fraudulently hid that it was planning to hire current Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker and board chairman Ray Lane, who were “toxic” to any partnership with Oracle, when it forged a settlement with Oracle over its hiring of Hurd.

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, also alleged that HP has disrupted Oracle’s relationships with its customers.

Oracle is seeking to rescind the Hurd settlement agreement and a court order prohibiting Palo Alto, California-based HP from making false and misleading statements about Oracle’s business.

“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 said in an e- mailed statement. “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 case is Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Oracle Corp., 111CV203163, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County.

--Editors: Mary Romano, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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