It didn’t take long for the legal system to grind into motion after Hewlett-Packard’s stunning allegation Tuesday that it was tricked into paying billions of dollars too much for British software firm Autonomy.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, HP shareholder Allan Nicolow accused the Palo Alto tech giant of violating federal securities laws by issuing “false and misleading statements” about Autonomy’s worth when it bought the company for $11 billion in August 2011.
Nicolow’s suit – brought on behalf of everyone who bought HP stock after Autonomy’s purchase – added that HP’s disclosure that it paid too much in the deal helped cause its stock price to plunge.
In response to the suit, HP spokesman Michael Thacker said, “we’re reviewing the claim, and have no further comment at this time.”
HP previously has said it was misled about Autonomy’s value, a claim it has referred to U.S. and British regulatory authorities for possible criminal prosecution.