HP buys defunct user group data

'We're protecting customers', HP says

Hewlett-Packard was the highest bidder for the now-defunct Interex HP user group’s customer database and mailing list, which were auctioned off late last month after Interex declared itself bankrupt.

HP offered US$66,500 (NZ$98,000) for the database and mailing list, topping two other bidders.

By purchasing what are, in effect, the records of its own customers, HP sees itself as being akin to a white knight.

It won’t comment on how it plans to use the information, but HP spokesman Don Gentile says the Interex data is being purchased “to ensure that the privacy of our customers would not be compromised”.

Interex filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in August, after closing its operations in July and cancelling its annual HP World conference.

The user group shut down after incurring about US$4 million in debt. The sale of the customer database and mailing list by the court-appointed trustee was designed to help pay off its creditors.

Bidding began after Genisys offered to buy the database for US$15,000. Trustee Carol Wu then auctioned the list after receiving bids from HP and another bidder.

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