HP announces broader SEC inquiry

blog Company also reaches pact with former directors Perkins and Keyworth.

Hewlett-Packard said on Thursday that it has received an additional inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding both the company's leak probe disclosure as well as its handling of the resignation of board member Tom Perkins.

"HP recently has received a request from the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission for records and information relating to the resignation of Mr. Perkins from HP's Board of Directors, HP's May 22, 2006 and September 6, 2006 filings with the Commission on Form 8-K, and investigations conducted by HP or any of its directors into possible sources of leaks of HP confidential information," the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

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HP said it "intends to cooperate fully with this request. "

The company also said in the filing that it has entered into a "Mutual Release and Indemnification Agreement" with Perkins and former director George Keyworth, who stepped down last week. Under the deal, HP will pay any costs the two incur related to government inquiries into the company's leak probe.

"The Release Agreement provides for, among other things, mutual releases of claims between HP and its directors, officers and employees and each of Dr. Keyworth and Mr. Perkins." However, both reserve the right "to prosecute any claims against all security, investigative or business intelligence firms, the agents, contractors or subcontractors used by those firms" as well as any other third parties. The deal has an agreement that none of the parties will disparage one another.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.


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