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Dell outbids HP for 3PAR

The bidding war over the data storage firm 3PAR continued Thursday with Dell upping its offer to slightly exceed Hewlett-Packard's $1.6 billion bid announced earlier this week.

Dell upped its bid to $24.30 a share after initially offering $18 a share last week. H-P's bid was $24 a share. Before the agreement with Dell was announced, 3PAR traded for $9.65; shares have soared since but lost 7 percent this morning on the news of only a slight increase in the latest bid.

3PAR is a leader in providing high-end cloud storage solutions for businesses and other large institutions. Hardware makers have increasingly used acquisitions in recent years to gain a foothold in the lucrative market for remote services such as storage and hosting, which are increasingly replacing hardware costs for large organizations.