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Hewlett-Packard Co.’s claims of financial improprieties at Autonomy Corp. have accounting experts questioning whether the allegations are an attempt to divert attention from yet another bad acquisition.

Hewlett-Packard said yesterday it recorded an $8.8 billion writedown related to its purchase last year of Autonomy, the U.K. software maker. More than $5 billion of that impairment charge was the result of accounting practices at Autonomy, Hewlett-Packard said in a statement. About $200 million of Autonomy’s revenue had been recorded prematurely or improperly, according to Hewlett-Packard’s general counsel.

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