HP Soap Opera Nears Close
Tester's Choice: The most interesting part of the proposed HP-Compaq merger is the lack of real issues being thrown around by the participants.With the March 19 voters deadline on the HP-Compaq merger approaching rapidly, the technology worlds most interesting drama is coming to a sad close for ad execs and journalists (myself now included) who have benefited from the entertaining mudslinging. To me, the most interesting part of the whole confrontation is the lack of real issues being thrown around by the participants or covered by journalists. Walter Hewlett is having a grand time slinging mud at Carly Fiorina and Michael Capellas over the $100-something-million they will split in the event of a merger, but who really cares? I doubt that either Carly or Michael will end up hocking their valuables in a Bay Area pawnshop if this merger doesnt happen.
Why attack the CEOs? The meat of the argument against this merger should be that Compaqs previous big transactions are candidates for the merger-and-acquisition hall of shame. Lets face it: The newest MBA textbooks in use at institutions of higher learning around the country are NOT referring to Compaqs mega-acquisitions of Digital and Tandem in very favorable terms.