Rumour: HP wanted US$1.2 billion for webOS and Palm assets

Hewlett-PackardWhen Hewlett-Packard announced plans to stop making webOS hardware, it put up its webOS business unit for sale. While there were plenty of rumours about interested suitors (including Amazon and Samsung among others), no sale was ever completed and the saga ended with the announcement that the operating system would be open-sourced. A report by VentureBeat now sheds some light on how HP went about looking for a buyer.

It appears that HP put webOS up for sale for US$1.2 billion, the same amount it spent back in 2010 to buy Palm. According to “a source with knowledge of the negotiations,” the company was looking to avoid taking a loss on its webOS adventure. While HP likely lowered the price later on, other conditions such as access to the operating system for use in its printers probably did not make negotiations any easier.

VentureBeat also indicates that one of the interested parties was Facebook. HP, with its asking price, was “practically laughed out of the room.” Did it get similar reactions from other interested buyers?

Was HP’s webOS valuation another of now-deposed CEO Leo Apotheker‘s follies?

Read more