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Motorola shareholder sues, says $12.5B not enough

Investor John Keating says Motorola could have fetched a better price for its shareholders and is seeking class action to stop the sale, according to news reports.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Contributing editor Eric Mack covers space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Eric Mack

When is $12.5 billion dollars just not enough? When you're selling out to a monster like Google, according to Motorola investor John Keating. He's suing Moto and its CEO Sanjay Jha for failing to get the best price possible from Google for Motorola Mobility, according to a Bloomberg report.

On its face, Keating's argument seems like a harder sale than the deal itself, considering that the agreement has Google paying $40 per share for the company, or a 63 percent premium over the stock price at the time of the deal.

But such legal actions have become commonplace following almost all major merger announcements, and have been accused of clogging the justice system. For his part, Keating argues Motorola could have done better, and the the deal will unfairly enrich board members while not allowing investors to see all the benefits of the company's expected rebound.

Some possible credence for Keating's argument could lie in speculation that a patent valuation bubble may be inflating. As part of the deal, Google secures more than 17,000 Motorola patents, providing significant defensive (or offensive) ammunition in the brewing patent wars.

Keating is reportedly seeking class action status for the lawsuit from a Chicago circuit court and hopes to block the sale. Neither Google nor Motorola have opted to comment on the case.