TouchPadAfter dragging its feet for the better part of 2011, HP finally decided to make webOS an open affair rather than kill it off altogether. Newly released information is shedding light on what may have happened during this period of darkness, revealing HP to be quite reluctant to lose out on its initial investment.

According to VentureBeat, HP priced its Palm assets at a cool $1.2 billion – the same amount they purchased the smartphone pioneer for in April 2010. Unfortunately, a lot has happened since then, not least of which HP failed to gain a significant market share with its TouchPad tablet. In addition, the Palo Alto-based company essentially left webOS in limbo, stagnating the operating system while iOSAndroid and Windows Phone continued to grow.

Earlier this year, HP failed to strike a deal after having discussions with suitors like Amazon, Samsung, Intel and many others, said VentureBeat. Now they are where they are, open source with plans to develop webOS tablets in 2012. HP was said to have approached Facebook sometime this year with a sales pitch, but the information technology corporation wouldn’t budge on its $1.2b asking price.

And to think, any one of us with a spare $1.2b could have been proud owners of HP’s Palm assets.

[VentureBeat]