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UK fraud office launches conflict of interest probe in Autonomy case

Britain's Serious Fraud Office has launched an internal inquiry as to whether there is a conflict of interest in its use of software linked to a firm it is investigating.

It acknowledged Tuesday that it's opened a probe into Hewlett-Packard's allegation that the personal computer maker was duped when buying the firm, Autonomy, in 2011.

However, the fraud office also noted it uses an Autonomy product, Introspect, for document management.

It says it is eager to ensure there is no conflict of interest — or even the appearance of one. As a result, it says it will "make inquiries to ensure that it can continue as the investigating body."

HP has accused Autonomy employees of fabricating sales to drive up the sale price — a charge Autonomy denies.