Print 12 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on Apr 1 at 10:15 PM

HP settlement still needs court approval

HP made a blundering decision when it purchased Palm in 2010 for $1.2 billion. HP was largely interested in Palm’s webOS and planned to put the operating system in everything from smartphones to printers.
Ultimately, the efforts to expand webOS never materialized and HP ended up squandering its $1.2 billion purchase.
Many of HP’s investors were angry that while HP was touting its big plans for webOS, it was also allegedly trying to figure out how to sell the Palm assets off privately. After HP sold webOS to LG Electronics, some investors filed a class action suit against the company for defrauding shareholders.
"HP has reached a mutually acceptable resolution through a mediated settlement," said Sarah Pompei, an HP spokeswoman.

The settlement will see HP cough up $57 million that will be placed into an interest-bearing escrow account. Lead plaintiffs in the suit are Arkansas Teacher Retirement System; the Labourers' Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada in Oakville, Ontario; the LIUNA National Pension Fund and LIUNA Staff & Affiliates Pension Fund in Washington, D.C.; and Union Asset Management Holding AG in Frankfurt, Germany.
"We are very happy with the settlement and are glad to have achieved this recovery for the affected HP shareholders," said Jonathan Gardner, co-lead counsel for the class.
WebOS has proven to be a difficult sell to consumers in several key markets now. It remains to be seen if LG and its webOS smart TVs will prove successful.

Source: Reuters

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What a joke...
By MrBlastman on 4/1/2014 11:15:11 AM , Rating: 4
These class action suits are always bogus. The attorneys take 1/3 to 1/2 of the settlement (which is deducted from everyone's payout as they are disbursed) and since there are so many shareholders, the damages awarded to each individual are pennies on the dollar.

The only people who make anything worthwhile are the attorneys. Everyone else gets practically nothing.

The lawyers know this, too. That's why they specialize in these class action suits to bilk companies on behalf of the "shareholders" on any and every obscure thing they can come up with.

RE: What a joke...
By Argon18 on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: What a joke...
By deltaend on 4/1/2014 11:53:15 AM , Rating: 2
Of course, no lawfirm will sign on for a class action suit at $0 retainer unless there is at least a 95% chance of winning. They may have some risk, but they are experts at minimizing it.

RE: What a joke...
By Bubbacub on 4/1/2014 11:54:33 AM , Rating: 2
maybe fair, but it is seriously inefficient as a society to spend such a large proportion of GDP on parasitic creatures like lawyers.

hopefully in a few decades someone will come up with a sufficiently advanced PERL script to replace them.

RE: What a joke...
By MrBlastman on 4/1/2014 12:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite. The lead plaintiffs always get a substantial sum. After all, they're the ones who retained the attorneys to file the suit.


That's not how these class action suits work when you sue on behalf of shareholders.

I've looked at hundreds of these things over the years. The people who have the most shares in the affected class receive the most money. Your typical settlement is around four cents to twenty cents on the dollar, per share. In rare cases it is more, but not usually.

Most shareholders have less than a thousand shares--many times only a couple hundred. Inevitably many don't even bother sending in the paperwork because it takes more time than the money they receive in return.

You need not just one or two, but a whole team of high powered attorneys to launch and win a successful class action suit.

Correct. That's why there are entire firms dedicated to this.

But in the end... are these suits worth the time to the shareholders? Are they worth the money? Do they change anything?

Nine times out of ten, no. They are over stupid things that are darn near impossible to prove caused any shareholder harm.

The law firms are the true profiteers using the vehicle of class action to buff their payouts.

Check out for one of the more notorious litigation firms. There are a few other big ones out there but they exist solely for themselves. They could give a darn about who they represent and the net effect to the industry is nil.

RE: What a joke...
By Wolfpup on 4/1/2014 2:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a joke at all. It's often the only recourse normal citizens have against giant corporations.

This particular case though? I care more about the people who bought WebOS devices that went no where than I do about stockholders.

I LOVED PalmOS...not sure about WebOS, though it did seem ahead of its time in different ways, at least. So weird that they just bought it and immediately canned it.

By p05esto on 4/1/2014 12:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
My WebOS TouchPad still has a nicer UI than my current iPad.... hands down. It's marketing, company, reputation, trend of the day and little things like that which pick winners and losers these days... it's not often about what is best. That we all know by now. The masses are not all correct. The new Microsoft Surface tablets are also 100x nicer than iPads... but they have very little marketshare, and probably never will. It's a shame, huge shame that the crap out there like iTunes gets popular where drag and drop like Surface gets dusty.

By djc208 on 4/1/2014 12:43:54 PM , Rating: 3
I'm almost full time Android on my TouchPad, but the few times I boot into WebOS, I am still amazed at how intuitive the interface is to use compared to even the newer builds of Android. It really was ahead of it's time in a lot of areas that Android and iOS are just now starting to duplicate. A shame HP botched it all up.

The best OS that never was
By tviceman on 4/1/2014 12:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
I am still bitter. WebOS was way better than Android and iOS is today. :(

RE: The best OS that never was
By Arsynic on 4/1/2014 1:06:21 PM , Rating: 3
Likewise. I loved webOS.

By DrApop on 4/1/2014 1:15:46 PM , Rating: 2
HP is such a goober. Palm and WebOS had lost traction in the phone/tablet space and HP though that just by buying them they could use their own brand recognition to get people to jump on the band wagon and buy up their goods....morons.

First of all, I think it was over a year between purchase and putting out the first HP WebOS device and not a single update to the OS had been done. And shortly after that, HP just sort of gave up. Brilliant business sense...NOT.

Palm/WebOS was a very nice OS but HP support was terrible, they didn't know how to market it, and they didn't update. Yes the OS was probably ahead of it's time....but you have to constantly update and support the product. HP did neither.

By Samus on 4/1/2014 10:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think the investors should be entitled to simply beat Leo Apotheker like a piñata. That piece of $#&%.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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