- Associated Press - Monday, January 31, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - Oracle Corp. has agreed to pay $46 million to settle a lawsuit over alleged kickbacks to win government work.

The Department of Justice charged that Sun Microsystems Inc., which Oracle bought last year, and other technology companies paid kickbacks to Accenture PLC for Accenture to recommend that federal agencies buy Sun products.

The Justice Department said last year that the lawsuit covered software contracts that ran from 1998 to 2006 and were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Six other companies including Hewlett-Packard Co. have settled similar charges.

The settlement by Oracle’s America unit also resolved claims that Sun provided incomplete and inaccurate information to government contracting officers during negotiations over contracts with the U.S. Postal Service and two resellers of Sun products. The government said regulations and contracts required Sun to explain how it did business so that contracting officers could negotiate a fair price for government customers.

Government officials said kickbacks and inaccurate information during contract negotiations cost taxpayers money.

Allegations against Sun were first raised in a lawsuit brought by two whistle-blowers, and the government joined their case in 2007.

Oracle representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Shares of Oracle, a software company based in Redwood Shores, Calif., rose 3 cents to close at $32.03.

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