The Department of Justice has accepted a $16.25m payment from HP to end an investigation into alleged corruption by the ink giant.
The DoJ and the Federal Communications Commission investigated the E-rate programme, which provides internet connections to schools and libraries in the US and the US territories.
The department and the FCC investigated allegations that HP contractors and other companies "lavished gifts on Dallas Independent School District and Houston Independent School District personnel in order to get contracts that included some $17 million in HP equipment. Meals and entertainment – including trips on a yacht and tickets to the 2004 Super Bowl".
The gifts and bungs were offered in exchange for inside information on contracts and the bidding process.
To settle the charges, HP is paying $16.25m to the E-rate programme and must also follow a compliance programme that includes training staff on government gift rules.
HP sent us the following statement: "HP requires that all employees and partners adhere to lawful and ethical business practices. The activities at the center of this investigation occurred more than five years ago, the partner relationships have been terminated and the employees involved are no longer with the company. HP fully cooperated with the authorities and the matter is now resolved." ®