According to the rules of the auction, Dell has three business days to counter HP's offer, giving the Texas company the Labor Day weekend to decide whether it will increase its offer or drop out of the bidding. If Dell drops out, it would receive a 4% termination fee, now possibly nearing the $100 million mark.
HP announced its latest offer in a brief statement noting that its offer is scheduled to expire on September 24.
HP and Dell have been fierce competitors in the PC business and both companies have staked out positions in the rapidly emerging cloud computing sector. Although unprofitable in recent quarters, 3Par is considered to have storage technology that is particularly valuable for cloud computing.
3Par's thin provisioning approach enables users to get a better handle on their storage needs and, when they do, storage can be acquired on a utility basis according to the needs of the users.
3Par had been talking with potential acquirers for several weeks when Dell made the first offer for the storage firm on August 16 -- for $18 a share. Before the bidding began, 3Par's stock had been trading below $10 a share.
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