Apple’s AuthenTec acquisition already under investigation

It hasn’t been 24 hours since the news broke that Apple acquired AuthenTec, and there’s already talk of foul play. It seems that two law firms are investigating the acquisition to see if AuthenTec’s Board intentionally undervalued the company to reach a deal with Apple.

Although the investigation appears to only involve AuthenTec at the moment, a resulting lawsuit could have a major impact on, or even block, Apple’s latest tech purchase…

Law firms Levi & Korsinksy and Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. have started sending out documents to AuthenTec shareholders, notifying them that an investigation is underway. It also asks them to sign up for representation, in the event that a class action suit comes into play.

“Levi & Korsinsky is investigating the Board of Directors of AuthenTec, Inc. for possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law in connection with the sale of the Company to Apple Inc…

…The investigation concerns whether the AuthenTec Board of Directors breached their fiduciary duties to AuthenTec stockholders by failing to adequately shop the Company before entering into this transaction and whether Apple is underpaying for AuthenTec shares, thus unlawfully harming AuthenTec stockholders.”

Under the current terms of the transaction, AuthenTec shareholders will receive $8 per share for the stock they own. This comes out to roughly $350 million. And apparently, someone felt like the company was worth a lot more.

There’s still no word on what Apple plans to do with the company. Some have suggested that part of the purchase had to do with AuthenTec’s treasure trove of biometric-related patents, while others believe that this was a move to beef up Apple’s NFC/iWallet efforts.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, as again, it could have a substantial impact on Apple’s $360 million acquisition.