Mergers and acquisitions have been dominating the headlines, but not all of the stories have happy endings. Hewlett-Packard has not one, but two of the worst mergers in recent history. The company's $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm in 2010 was scrapped when new CEO Leo Apotheker took over, leading the company to write off the $3.3 billion investment. HP's $12 billion acquisition of British software maker Autonomy in 2011 was intended to help the company focus away from hardware and into the more lucrative software space. But when CEO Meg Whitman took over, irregularities were discovered at Autonomy and HP was forced to take an $8.8 billion charge due to "accounting errors."

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