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For more than a quarter century, poison pills were the M&A equivalent of nuclear deterrence. No stockholder had ever swallowed a modern poison pill, and the mechanics of what would trigger a poison pill were purely academic. That all changed in December, when Versata Enterprises, a software provider, intentionally triggered a poison pill adopted by Selectica. A trial starting today in Delaware Chancery Court will test the validity of Selectica’s poison pill. (Here’s Selectica’s amended complaint and here’s a helpful primer and analysis of the complicated dispute by Latham & Watkins.)

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