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A roundup of the latest high-tech news from The Associated Press:

  • Oracle to take over Phase Forward in $685 million deal

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. — Oracle Corp. has agreed to buy Phase Forward Inc., which makes software used to manage clinical drug trials, for $685 million, the companies said Friday.

Oracle plans to merge Waltham, Mass.-based Phase Forward into its Health Sciences unit. The combination will help researchers, physicians, regulators and patients share and access drug data, the companies said.

Oracle is paying $17 per share in cash, 30 percent more than Thursday’s $13.08 closing price for Phase Forward’s stock. Phase Forward’s shares rose $3.77, or 29 percent, to $16.85 in opening trading. The deal, announced Friday, is expected to close in the middle of the year.

Phase Forward’s software has been used in more than 10,000 clinical trials, it says.

  • Three former HP workers charged in probe of bribes to Russia

BERLIN — Three people who once worked for Hewlett-Packard Co. have been arrested in an investigation of alleged kickbacks totaling euro8 million ($10.9 million) surrounding a deal to sell equipment to Russian authorities, German prosecutors said.

The three were arrested in Germany and Switzerland in December and later freed on bail, Wolfgang Klein, a spokesman for prosecutors in Dresden, said Thursday. He did not give their nationalities or other details, but said at least two of them no longer work for HP.

U.S. authorities are also apparently investigating, as HP issued a statement to say it was cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC declined comment Thursday.

German officials say a total of nine people are under investigation in the case, but Hewlett-Packard itself is not being investigated and is believed to have been a victim.