HP sues Oracle

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In an escalating battle between the two Silicon Valley icons,Hewlett Packard (HP) filed an unusual breach-of-contract lawsuit againstOracle on Wednesday, claiming the software maker’s refusal to support one of HP’s mainstay products is linked to a bitter feud that started when Oracle hired former HP chiefMark Hurdlast year.

Oracle has denounced the suit as malicious and merit less and accused HP of with holding key information and misleading customers of both the companies about the future of computers using the Itanium processor.

The two commercial tech giants had previously worked closely together, collaborating on new technology and reselling each others products. But the lawsuit complains that “in a mere eight months, Oracle has gone from arm-in-arm partnership with Hewlett-Packard to bitter antagonist,” starting with Hurd’s hiring in September.

Their relationship actually changed at the beginning of last year, when Oracle’s move to buy computer maker Sun Microsystems turned Oracle and HP into direct competitors

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