31 January 2002 Hewlett-Packard (HP) CEO Carly Fiorina has claimed that her company’s merger with rival Compaq will provide a boost for the open source operating system Linux.
“This is a combination that’s good for Linux. Together, we will be in a more powerful position to lead the march in open standards and Linux than either company could on its own,” she told delegates to the annual LinuxWorld Conference in New York.
Fiorina presented 2002 as the year that will make or break Linux. HP has indicated that it intends to increase its share of the telecoms market and that it will rely on Linux-based products to achieve that.
The HP/Compaq merger, which was originally valued at about $24 billion (€27.9bn), is gaining increased support among institutional investors, declared HP chief financial officer Bob Wayman. Wayman has met with a number of investors in the past three weeks, as part of a road show aimed at convincing them to support the planned merger.
However, the son of Bill Hewlett, one of the co-founders of HP, has released a third report forecasting the failure of the planned merger. In a statement, Hewlett declared: “Given that past computer mergers failed during the greatest IT spending boom in history, it is far riskier to attempt a complex global integration during the current severe recession in technology spending.”
HP Shareholders are due to vote on the proposed deal in March 2002. European Union regulators, for their part, are to clarify their position regarding the merger today.