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Apple, Google Settle Class-Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have settled the lawsuit levied against them for their anti-poaching agreements, reports Reuters. The settlement was revealed in a court filing, but the terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

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.

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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.

Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
Bad news for the common man. If this had gone to court then workers would have ended up with more protection.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago
64,000 people in the class action, even if the settlement was for example 100 million, that would be about $1500 per person plus the lawyer fees will probably take half so lucky to end up with $750 or so.

I guess it is about the principal though..
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago

One big added headache, all those companies involved, could do without and now hopefully, can put behind them.

One wonders though how this will affect recruitment from now on.


They brought it on themselves and settled for next to nothing. My heart bleeds for them on this headache:rolleyes:.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago
Bad apple / google
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
Anyone else find it funny that the G in google fits perfectly into the apple bite?
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
$324 million? WTF! Someone sold out. Jerks.

Don't take advantage of your OWN engineers, morons (Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, etc.). :mad:
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
Typical corporate america screwing hard working folks. They should have NEVER settled and got every penny they deserved. For you apple fan boys who think the settlement is fare, apple has you on a string like a puppet keeping you in an over priced eco system with the profits of cheap labor. Real nice company to do business with, NOT!
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
I don't think it was the intent of Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to prevent advancement of their employees. It would have been to prevent companies from stealing corporate secrets. The devastating thought of a key person working on Apple's next thing would be hired by Google, and that person would take all knowledge of what did and did not work to jump start the same product for Google. Lose of intellectual property would be the main concern. Becides, non-compete clauses simply don't hold up in court.

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This gives the lawyers a good payout for a brief effort. They're the only ones who ever 'win' class action suits. For everyone else, this settlement is negligible. The workers will only get a couple weeks salary if that, and for Apple and Google it's about a day's profit each.


The world's second oldest profession always wins, at least for themselves. That's why 1 out of every 320 Americans are lawyers. There are likely more lawyers in the USA than there are in the worlds oldest profession.

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WOW. I am coming out of the woodwork for this one...

Billions of dollars were STOLEN from the techs and scientists that made these companies what they are, over a DECADE, and this small slap on the wrist is all they get? If windows wasn't the only alt to apple, my last iMac would have been MY LAST iMAC. And from one gay to another: Tim, ghurl, you bettah do something to make this ish RIGHT. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:


How do you figure "STOLEN"? They all agreed to be hired at their pay rate. All the employees 'make' every company, successful or otherwise. If they wanted to get a different job, they could seek employment from any company other than Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe. There are thousands more tech companies out there than these four you know.
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago

Are you refering to the book, Neuromancer? I read that years ago, but can't remember anything about hiring practices. Can you remind me? Thanks.


Yes, I was referring to the book. In it, poaching employees is nothing short of a black-ops military operation, involving breaking in and effectively kidnapping—often involving a healthy dose of explosives and bullets—the "poached" employee.

Now that I think of it, I believe it was depicted in "Count Zero", the second novel in William Gibson's Trilogy ("Neuromancer" being the first, and "Monalisa Overdrive" being the third).
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago

Billions of dollars were STOLEN from the techs and scientists that made these companies what they are, over a DECADE, and this small slap on the wrist is all they get? If windows wasn't the only alt to apple, my last iMac would have been MY LAST iMAC. And from one gay to another: Tim, ghurl, you bettah do something to make this ish RIGHT. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

If there was any way to prove that 'billions of dollars' was 'STOLEN' the lawsuit wouldn't have been settled for such a paltry sum. Employees still had the choice to receive offers from other companies by applying there. They employees cannot prove that without the agreement cold-calling would have been widespread and had a major impact on wages.

Don't get me wrong, this agreement is paltry and benefits the lawyers involved far more than the class members. However, you need to turn down the hyperbole a notch.

P.S. Tim Cook has decided not to make sexual orientation a central theme of his work. Please respect that and don't bring it into conversations that have nothing to do with that.
Rating: 1 Votes

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