Ongoing lawsuits are holding up the finalization of the Volkswagen Group's merger with Porsche SE, the latest hurdle in an epic ouroboros that has been underway for several years. The details are eye-glazingly boring, but the effects are very real and potentially harmful to both companies.

The legal details delaying the merger, stated briefly, include allegations of share price manipulation by U.S. short-sellers of VW stock who claim Porsche secretly bought up shares to prop up prices, causing the investors to lose over $1 billion, according to a Bloomberg report. A similar suit has been brought in Germany.

The failure to merge could see share prices for both companies fall, and Porsche is eying a "negative group result" for the first nine months of 2011. On the other hand, both VW and Porsche are generally healthy, and valued strongly by the market, so cooperation in production and development between the two companies may continue unhindered despite the lack of a merger.

Volkswagen and Porsche are now looking at alternate paths to completing the merger beyond the methods outlined in their 2009 agreement.

[Bloomberg via Detroit News]