HP Itanium secrecy cost us $95 million, Oracle says

Summary:Oracle's testimony in the court case starting next month against HP claims that the firm lost $95 million in profits due to misled IT buyers.

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Hewlett-Packard's behaviour towards IT purchasers was "misleading" and robbed rivals of potential sales worth $95 million, according to Oracle.

Computerworld reports that in a court case due to start next month, Oracle plans to testify within a Santa Clara County Superior Court that HP's secrecy over phasing out the Itanium platform was anti-competitive and resulted in a loss of sales.

HP and Oracle presented their key witnesses on Monday before Judge James Kleinberg, who has the power to stop the witnesses testifying before the trial begins on April 8.

HP filed a suit against Oracle in June 2011, alleging that its sales were damaged once Oracle stopped porting over software to the Itanium platform. After placing a witness on the stand who said Oracle cost HP roughly $4 billion in potential sales, HP won the case, and Oracle was ordered to resume developing software once more.

It is expected that HP is aiming for compensation of $4 billion.

However, Oracle then filed a counterclaim against the PC maker, saying that HP concealed the fact it was gradually turning away from the Itanium platform -- which impacted the sales of Oracle as a major developer of Itanium software.

Economist Ramsey Shehadeh of National Economic Research Associates estimated that after HP released allegedly "false and misleading statements" over Itanium's future in 2008, if HP had told the "truth," then competitors would not have lost out on the sales of high-end server platforms. Shehadeh pegged Oracle's losses at approximately $95 million.

The publication says that both companies attacked the other's key witnesses before the judge. Oracle attorney Daniel Wall argued that HP's witness ignored factors that could have altered Itanium sales, and HP's Robert Frank said that there was no factual basis to suggest HP deliberately hid information concerning the platform.

Earlier this month, Oracle acquired private cloud software startup Nimbula, the firm's portfolio likely to be embedded within the Oracle Private Cloud. Financial details were not disclosed but the deal is expected to reach completion before June this year.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Oracle

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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