Tech grab bag: HP’s Autonomy fallout, Google antitrust, Apple headquarters

News about some of the biggest valley companies:

HP shares were up more than 2 percent to $12.02 as of this post, the day after the Palo Alto company announced a huge write-down of its purchase of software maker Autonomy last year, sending its shares plunging about 12 percent Tuesday. As the Merc’s Pete Carey reports, Hewlett-Packard is no stranger to big deals gone bad: It has made more than $32 billion in acquisitions since 2008, but had a value of $23 billion Tuesday.

HP is now accusing Autonomy, for which it paid more than $10 billion, of misrepresenting its finances. The fallout so far: The FBI is reportedly looking into HP’s allegations. Accounting firm Deloitte today denied knowledge of any impropriety, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil says HP’s math doesn’t add up: He writes that Autonomy’s last publicly disclosed balance sheet before the HP purchase showed only $3.5 billion in assets. HP is taking a charge of $8.8 billion.

Google may avoid the most serious antitrust charges the U.S. government is considering because regulators are unsure they can prove harm to consumers over the way the company ranks its search results, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources. Last month, news reports said the U.S. was close to approving taking formal antitrust action against the Mountain View-based search giant, which among other things is being accused of favoring its own services in search results. (See Google’s world: Antitrust decision near?)

• The spaceship-like Apple headquarters scheduled to land in Cupertino next year may not break ground till 2014 and be completed until 2016, Bloomberg reports. The company revised its plans, so the city’s environmental impact report will be delayed, according to the city manager.



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