New York (Sept. 11, 2002) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. has reportedly abandoned its alliance with PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting because of the firm's pending acquisition by H-P's biggest competitor, IBM Corp., according to newswire reports."Frankly, our other partners are eager to fill the void, and why would we partner with someone that's helping our biggest competitor?" Juergen Rottler, vice president of marketing, strategy and alliances at H-P's services unit, told Dow Jones Newswires.

While all of H-P's existing customer projects with PwCC would be completed, H-P won't solicit new business with PwCC, the report said. The companies previously partnered in providing computer services to manufacturing companies, among others. H-P was in discussions in the fall of 2000 to acquire the consulting unit for a rumored $18 billion, but talks fell apart that November, with H-P citing tumultuous market conditions.

PwCC, which was scrambling to separate from its accounting firm parent, dropped plans for an initial public offering last month when IBM agreed to acquire it for roughly $3.5 billion in cash and stock. Industry observers noted at the time that some PwC Consulting alliance partners might drop their agreements with the firm as a result.

According to the report, H-P has partnerships with other computer system integrators, including PwC Consulting rivals Accenture Ltd., KPMG Consulting Inc., Deloitte Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

Rottler told Dow Jones that H-P wasn't worried about losing much business as a result of abandoning its alliance with PwCC.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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