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Friday, April 25, 2014
Apple, Google And Others, Settle Conspiracy Lawsuit: report
Four tech companies including Apple and Google will pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to keep the salaries in Silicon Valley low, Reuters reported today citing sources familiar with the deal.
Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. They planned to ask for $3 billion in damages at trial, according to court filings.
The case was based on emails in which Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and some of their Silicon Valley rivals hatched plans to avoid poaching each other's prized engineers.
The companies had acknowledged entering into some no-hire agreements but disputed the allegation that they had conspired to drive down wages.
Trial had been scheduled to begin at the end of May on behalf of roughly 64,000 workers.
Apple, Google and Intel declined to comment. An Adobe representative said that the company denies it engaged in any wrongdoing, but settled "in order to avoid the uncertainties, cost and distraction of litigation."
Any settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, 11-cv-2509.