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Autonomy founder Lynch steps up PR battle with HP

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Mike Lynch on stage in ViennaMike Lynch, the under-fire founder of enterprise search firm Autonomy, has published a new website intended to counter the claims flying his way from HP, which has accused management at the UK software maker of cooking the books to bump up its acquisition price.

Currently, AutonomyAccounts.org contains little new information, featuring previously published responses to HP's claims, along with an interview with Lynch.

But by establishing a website to focus on countering HP's claims, Lynch has upped the ante in the PR battle.

“This site is designed to be a public point of contact for Dr Mike Lynch and other former managers at Autonomy with the wider world. It will contain information about Autonomy and any public statements made on behalf of the former management team related to these issues,” the site proclaims.

In November, HP chief executive Meg Whitman confirmed the firm would be writing down $8.8bn largely in relation its acquisition of Autonomy. Whitman blamed Autonomy's former management team for wilfully misrepresenting the value of the software maker.

HP has asked the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK's Serious Fraud Office to investigate.

Lynch has flatly rejected HP's claims, arguing the acquisition was pored over by hundreds of accountants and auditors. He accused HP of trying to create a smokescreen for its own management problems.

Disputes over acquisitions in the IT industry are relatively rare. But when disputes do arise, the parties typically engage their lawyers, and then remain tight-lipped until their arguments are heard in court.

This makes the mud-slinging between HP and Autonomy's former management even more unusual.

04 Dec 2012

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