Right, I know very little about this in any detail. However......
The vibe I get is that HP are some how trying to push the edges of those US laws, that see businessmen go to jail for improper behaviour, in order to mitigate their financial losses and mistakes. And from what I can detect about these financial cases, there is little fairness or understanding because tax and financial laws are so damn complicated. In the end, it looks like a toss of a coin or mere opinion as to what is and isn't some sort of fraud or malpractice. You only have to look at how the public are led to believe that tax allowances given by government to encourage specific type of investment are evil tax loop holes. Yes, sometimes it wrong, but something its right. But, how can any one really make a fair judgement, unless some this really clear cut.
But I do think HP are trying to spin the law to make others responsible for their mistake(s). Which I think is corporate bullying and fraud, supported by the US "justice" system. This seems to be a US tactic of sorts. It kinda reminds me of Apple and Samsung.
And, sorry, but I cant help thinking that this may never have come up had it been a US company HP bought. I also wonder if the fact its a UK company is relevant too. We do tend to sh!t on our people and send them to the US with out much concern.
Look, I don't know. But over all, as a system, something here seems horrible off kilter. Clearly I'm not 100% sure how to express it, but really, something smells off here in general. Its like law is now some sort of wheel to spin in Vegas, rather than something to do with justice.