IBM acquires PwC Consulting, faces analyst questions

ARMONK, NY: IBM's announcement that it was acquiring PwC Consulting was pulled together in 10 days by the combined internal teams of both companies, as well as IBM agency OneBlue.

ARMONK, NY: IBM's announcement that it was acquiring PwC Consulting was pulled together in 10 days by the combined internal teams of both companies, as well as IBM agency OneBlue.

"Usually for a deal of this magnitude, a lot of teams, including communications, spend weeks on it, said Harvey Greisman, VP of communications for IBM Global Services. But because PricewaterhouseCoopers is IBM's auditor, the company had to wait until second-quarter earnings were announced and the auditors had moved off their premises. With PwC still serving in that auditing capacity, analysts and politicians have posed many tough questions. The situation has also created obvious conflict-of-interest concerns. IBM's stock fell by 4% the day after the announcement. "We have made it clear to the media, as well as others, that we worked with the SEC prior to the announcement to ensure that we had followed the proper procedures, Greisman added. He said no firm plans have been made for integrating PwC Consulting's PR team. OneBlue was brought in to help with media strategy for the announcement, and to consult with IBM's teams on internal and other communications.

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