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Let's All Kickback

6:35 PM -- It looks as if we are in for some more courtroom drama courtesy of our old friends at HP (plus Accenture and Sun). No sooner had the media circus surrounding HP's spying scandal died down, and the firm finds itself accused of operating illegal kickback schemes related to government contracts. (See Dunn Charges Dismissed, On What Pretext?, and Paranoia in Palo Alto.)

The Department of Justice (DoJ) filed lawsuits last week against HP, Accenture, and Sun, claiming that the vendors paid and received kickbacks from dozens of companies. The three vendors are reportedly denying the allegations, which center on the government's claim that it ultimately ended up paying for products that it would not have otherwise bought.

Although only HP, Accenture, and Sun have been accused of any wrongdoing, it appears that there is a storage element to this story, with EMC and IBM amongst a number of firms said to have dealt with Accenture.

After the Hitchcockian suspense of HP's recent problems, I don't know whether I can handle any more of this type of excitement, although I am relieved that someone is again shining a light on how corporate America deals with government.

I look forward to seeing how this drama unfolds.

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