Hewlett-Packard in Advanced Talks to Resolve U.S. Bribery Probes

Hewlett-Packard Co. said it’s in advanced discussions to resolve investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission into potential acts of bribery in foreign countries.

The government agencies continue to look into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Poland, Russia, Mexico and other countries, the computer maker said in a filing today. The company had disclosed the probes in June.

Hewlett-Packard and its competitor International Business Machines Corp. are under scrutiny for actions by their employees abroad in connection with technology services for government clients. IBM said in June that the Justice Department was examining activity by a former employee in Poland, among other countries.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act outlaws bribery of officials outside the U.S. Oracle Corp., the largest maker of database software, agreed to pay $2 million last year to settle SEC claims it had violated the law.

Separately, Hewlett-Packard said it was on course to eliminate 34,000 jobs through the end of fiscal 2014, which ends next October. That was up from an earlier estimate of 29,000, an increase that came from “continued market and business pressures,” the Palo Alto, California-based company said. It raised its forecast for costs from the firings to $4.1 billion from $3.6 billion.

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