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Oracle Accuses HP of False Advertising in Revised Itanium Suit

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Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp., accussing Hewlett-Packard Co. of false advertising in a revised countersuit, said HP secretly paid Intel Corp. to continue producing the Itanium computer chip.

Oracle claims HP “made false and deceptive statements” to Oracle and the public regarding the future of the chip to induce Oracle to continue to build software that runs on HP servers that use the Itanium chip, according to an amended complaint provided by Deborah Hellinger, an Oracle spokeswoman. Filing of the document couldn’t be immediately confirmed through electronic state court records yesterday.

HP and Intel had an Itanium collaboration agreement under which Intel would prolong Itanium instead of discontinuing the chip, according to the complaint.

The agreement was kept secret until Oracle uncovered it in a lawsuit first filed by HP against Oracle in June. HP alleged then that Oracle used “strong arm tactics” to force customers to shift away from HP’s Itanium server hardware to Oracle’s own server hardware.

Details of the Itanium agreement, such as the date it was signed and how much HP paid Intel, are blacked out of the document. Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, seeks to rescind an agreement that settled litigation over Oracle’s hiring of former HP chief executive officer Mark Hurd as well as unspecified damages.

“Oracle is in breach of its contractual commitments to HP, and it has failed to honor its promises to customers,” Michael Thacker, a spokesman for Palo Alto, California-based HP, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement responding to Oracle’s new claims. “Oracle should be addressing and rectifying this conduct rather than making up claims against HP.”

The case is Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Oracle Corp., 111-cv-0203163, California Superior Court (Santa Clara County).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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