Hewlett Packard will challenge SunGard Data Systems' recent announcement that it is to acquire the computer disaster-recovery business of Comdisco for $825m, out of antitrust concerns.
HP plans to object to the selection of SunGard as the highest bidder and said it will participate in the bankruptcy court hearing.
The company also said it expects to be confirmed the successful bidder.
According to a statement, HP said an acquisition by SunGard could proceed only if the Justice Department does not block it on antitrust grounds. IBM, SunGard and Comdisco control 80 per cent of the disaster-recovery market.
The Justice Department sent a letter to the bankruptcy court this week stating that it has an ongoing investigation of a possible acquisition by SunGard. HP said its bid is both pro-customer and pro-competition.
Meanwhile, Comdisco said it has agreed to sell its disaster-recovery business to SunGard.
"Upon completion of the auction process, Comdisco concluded that the SunGard offer was the highest or otherwise best submitted during the bidding and auction process," Norm Blake, chief executive of Comdisco, said in a statement.
Comdisco, hit by investment losses, filed for bankruptcy protection in July, after its stock, which hit a high of $57.25 in March 2000, lost more than 99 per cent of its value in the high-tech downturn.
In July, Comdisco said it would sell its services business to HP for $610m in cash. By the terms of that agreement, Comdisco said that the HP offer remains open until 19 December.
SunGard initially offered $775m and also objected to HP's and Comdisco's bidding procedures.
Comdisco plans to sell its Availability Solutions business in the US and the stock of its subsidiaries in France, Britain and Canada.
The company does not plan to sell its holdings in Germany and Spain or its Network Services and IT CAP Solutions assets.
The deal is subject to approval by US Bankruptcy Court on 23 October.
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