Autonomy's Lynch continues to battle HP charges

Has used blog to tell his story

Mike Lynch continues to use the blog he created last month to defend Autonomy against HP's allegations that he and his fellow Autonomy executives misled Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) about the company's financial condition during the sale of the company in August 2011.

He took to his keyboard on December 21 to criticize HP CEO Meg Whitman for not providing specifics about the charges or how they could have added up the $5 billion write-off HP took on the Autonomy sale in November, 2012. He also used it as opportunity for a little old-fashioned public relations, thanking those who continued to support him during what he called a "very difficult time." He wrote that in the absence of a response from HP, he hoped to find answers in the HP 10-K filing with the SEC, which was due before the end of the year.

Sure enough, HP filed the document and the former Autonomy CEO used it as a springboard for discussion in a December 28 post. Of course, he complained that HP continued to fail to offer what he considered to be a reasonable explanation for the allegations against his former company, or the $5 billion write-off that HP took because of the issues it found with Autonomy. He then went over, in some detail, the steps HP took to assure that it was a good deal.

As I've written in the past, all four of the world's biggest accounting firms have been over this deal. Two found that it was fine. Two found issues. So, what we have is Lynch making claims based on the reports of two accounting firms that agree with him, and HP making their claims based on the other two reports. 

Lynch also took HP to task for including a statement in the 10-K filing that the Department of Justice had opened an investigation of the matter, stating that as of the writing of that blog post, former Autonomy executives had received no indication from the United States government that they were under investigation (which does seem odd if it's true).

It's also worth noting that Lynch once again stated in no uncertain terms that the allegations against Autonomy were false and he couldn't understand the basis for the charges to this point.

Lynch wrote one additional post on December 28, further calling into question the veracity of HP's claims against Autonomy.

We know this isn't going to end up well, that much is clear. In our story,"Top content management stories of the year," published just before the break, two of the industry experts we asked listed the HP-Autonomy story as the biggest one of the year and one that would continue to reverberate throughout 2013. 

It seems likely that our two experts were prescient. This story isn't going away.

For more information:
- see the blog

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The top content management stories of the year
Autonomy's Mike Lynch goes on offense in battle with HP