The Associated Press

NEW YORK — The bidding contest between computer makers Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) for the data storage company 3Par (NYSE: PAR) is heating up. Even before Dell could make its latest offer public, HP has come back with a higher bid.

After Dell Inc. raised its offer to $32 per share from $27, Hewlett-Packard Co. raised its own bid to $33 from $30. The latest bid comes to $2.07 billion.

In a statement Thursday, 3Par said HP’s offer is superior. It is giving Dell another three business days to come back with another bid.

Dell made its first offer for 3Par on Aug. 16. Both PC makers are looking at 3Par as a way to build up their “cloud computing” businesses, delivering software, data storage and other services to customers via the Internet. 3Par could also help them cut data storage expenses.

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