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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hewlett-Packard to pay $32.5M to settle allegations it overcharged US Postal Service

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hewlett-Packard Co. has agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle allegations it overcharged the U.S. Postal Service for products over more than eight years.

In the dispute, the United States alleged that HP failed to comply with pricing terms of its contract with the Postal Service. This included a requirement that HP provide prices that were no greater than those offered to its other customers with comparable contracts. The United States also alleged the company misrepresented its pricing during contract negotiations and its plans to ensure it would bill at the required most-favoured-customer rate.

The overcharging allegedly occurred between October 2001 and December 2010.

The matter was jointly investigated by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Justice's Civil Division.

The Justice Department said Friday that the claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only. There's been no determination of liability.

HP is based in Palo Alto, California. Its stock fell 67 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $34.94 in midday trading Friday.

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