writes: The bidding war between HP and Dell has reached a swift and dramatic conclusion. One could even say that the former company sniped the auction at the last minute—to the tune of $2 billion for the acquisition of data storage provider 3PAR. HP's not-so-subtle efforts to pull the company away from a preliminary merger agreement with Dell—a $1.15-billion arrangement announced August 16—took three successive bids to reach an ultimate conclusion. The final acquisition cost of $2 billion, confirmed by 3PAR late Friday, represents a price of $30 per share of 3PAR stock. That's triple the closing price of the company's stock before Dell's initial offer was made public, and more than double after.