Apple-Google Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Nearing $415 Million Settlement

Google Intel Apple AdobeU.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in a San Jose, California courtroom on Monday raised no objections about a $415 million settlement that would end an ongoing anti-poaching class-action lawsuit involving Apple, Google and other large tech companies. Koh rejected a previous $324.5 million settlement last August after one of the plaintiffs in the case objected because the deal was too low, according to Reuters.

Tech workers filed the antitrust class-action lawsuit in 2011 against Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel, alleging that the four companies reached anti-poaching agreements that resulted in less job mobility and lower salaries. Apple and Google were accused of signing one of the earliest wage-fixing deals in 2005, although the anti-poaching agreements extended far beyond those companies. According to court documents, up to one million tech employees may have been affected by the agreements.

Update 11:05 AM PT: Koh has given preliminary approval to the $415 million settlement, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Top Rated Comments

Mr Fusion Avatar
80 months ago
They've got to come down hard on companies that do this kind of thing.

Big employers hold all the power... *except* the employee can leave to get a better deal across the street.

When companies collude to take that option away, or even just reduce it, the employees are going to be seriously out of luck.
Collusion between large companies is just one (illegal) trick of many they have to reduce labor costs across an industry.

Their long-term solution most likely involves ad campaigns targeting students and educational institutions to spread word of a "shortage" of qualified workers, in order to flood the market and drive wages down.

It's been done before in other sectors, tech is just new to it. :cool:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iSee Avatar
80 months ago
They've got to come down hard on companies that do this kind of thing.

Big employers hold all the power... *except* the employee can leave to get a better deal across the street.

When companies collude to take that option away, or even just reduce it, the employees are going to be seriously out of luck.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Donoban Avatar
80 months ago
Ka Ching!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmunz Avatar
80 months ago
Ka Ching???

Ka Ching!

"...a $415 million settlement...

<snip>

According to court documents, up to one million tech employees may have been affected by the agreements."

So everyone gets four hundred bucks. (Minus legal fees of course.)

Ka Ching indeed.

FWIW
DLM
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
benzado Avatar
80 months ago
Why is it called "poaching" when big tech companies hire each other, but when Kroger hires someone from Food Lion, it's not poaching?

It is called poaching. If you hire employees away from another business, you are poaching them. If Kroger and Food Lion had entered into an agreement not to hire each other's employees they could be sued, too. Doesn't matter what the work is.

It would be a smart move, too: Kroger could let Food Lion do all the work of finding qualified reliable people, then offer them more money, but save money on training and recruiting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
80 months ago
I would imagine that it's all dependent on the agreement between employer and employee. For instance, I have a contract that says should I leave my company, I'm not permitted to work with similar clients, or at similar companies, etc. for two years.

So think about the ramifications of that. That company fires you. Your skills happen to be specialized enough that your qualifications can only land you a job with one of those "similar" companies. You are legally obligated to sit on the sidelines for 2 years. Trying to live on unemployment or any low-paying job you can get that isn't with a "similar" may be tough.

So how is the firing party affected? They don't have to wait 2 years before replacing you, so they can do so quickly (probably already have your replacement lined up before firing you) and carry on making money. So they suffer no great loss but you potentially feel meaningful pain for 2 years.

How should this work? If a company requires you to sit out of a skilled job for which you are qualified, PAY you for sitting out. In other words: in exchange for preventing you from replacing your skilled job for 2 years, pay you for those 2 years. As is, there's tremendous disadvantage to the skilled employee who must take on this obligation without compensation beyond the point at which they lose the job.

Imagine the scenario of taking on such a job and obligation for a few weeks, then losing the job (firing, downsizing, etc). No time to set aside savings from compensation from that job, yet you have a 2-year obligation to not take a "similar" job. Company loss: little-to-nothing. Employee loss: job + 2 years of getting a similar job.

Compensation-limiting requirements should be purchased, not mandated for nothing. The lone employee is at tremendous disadvantage in such situations.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...