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Apple, Google Settle Class-Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit
The no-hire agreements between the companies first came to light in 2011, after tech workers filed a class action lawsuit alleging the companies had conspired not to poach employees from one another in an effort to keep salaries lower.
No-solicitation agreements dated back to 2005 and in addition to Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe, involved Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, among others. The agreements prevented company recruiters from contacting employees on specific no contact lists.
The United States Department of Justice got involved in the lawsuit back in 2010 and the companies were required to cease entering into anti-poaching agreements. A class-action civil suit covering 64,000 employees was allowed to proceed, and that is the lawsuit that was settled today for an unspecified amount of money. The terms of the settlement will be presented to District Judge Lucy Koh on May 27.
Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit previously settled their cases for approximately $20 million.
Update 4PM PT: According to Reuters, the four companies have agreed to pay a total of $324 million in order to settle the lawsuit. While spokespeople for Apple, Google, and Intel declined to comment, an Adobe representative said the company settled "in order to avoid the uncertanties, cost, and distraction of litigation."
The class-action suit was asking for $3 billion in damages, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.