HP buys IT software company

Hewlett-Packard has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Mercury Interactive, an information technology management software and services company in Mountain View, Calif., for about $4.5 billion.

The purchase is HP’s biggest since it acquired Compaq four years ago.

It will combine HP OpenView systems, network and IT service management software with Mercury’s application management and service-oriented architecture, according to a statement from HP.

The acquisition will expand HP’s portfolio of IT management software and services. It is also expected to increase the HP Software business unit’s annual revenue to more than $2 billion.

The Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Mercury for allegedly backdating stock options granted to some executives, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. Some top officials resigned as a result.

But analysts told the newspaper the purchase was a good move for HP because it expands the company’s ability to sell the software businesses use to manage their computer networks and Web-based applications.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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