HP and Compaq signed a pre-nuptial

If one of them pulls out, they have to pay...

If one of them pulls out, they have to pay...

HP and Compaq will have to fork out a whopping $675m if their planned merger fails to come off. On top of the massive hit both companies would take in terms wasted time, effort and focus if the merger fell through, each is also contractually obliged to pay the other $675m in the circumstance, depending on who is deemed to be at fault. The information comes in SEC filings made when the takeover was announced Tuesday, and applies whether the merger is called off by the management or is vetoed by shareholders. This is a very real possibility if shareholders continue to react badly to the plan. HP's share price has plummeted 24 per cent since the deal was announced, and Compaq's has likewise fallen sharply.