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April 21, 2014

Employees’ suit against Apple, Google to go on trial in May

64,000 plaintiffs are claiming $3bn in damages for restricting their growth prospects.

By CBR Staff Writer

The class action law suit filed by over 64,000 employees of Apple, Google, Intel Corp and Adobe Systems seeking $3bn as damages from the companies, alleging suppression of wages, is scheduled to go on trial in May.

The plaintiffs are alleging that the companies have connived with each other to restrict their employment opportunities.

A law suit filed in a US federal court by the employees says that the companies came to an understanding not to poach each other’s employees and thus restricted the prospects of their wage growth between 2005 and 2009.

Facebook, however, refused to play along, reported The Wall Street Journal citing court records.

The case was initially filed by five software professionals in 2011 against Apple, Google, Adobe Systems Intel Corp and others for allegedly violating the Sherman Act and Clayton Act antitrust laws.

US District Judge Lucy Koh granted class-action certification to the lawsuit in December 2013.

The Pixar and Lucasfilm units of Walt Disney and Intuit, which were named in the original suit, agreed to a $9m and $11m settlement respectively.

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The other companies are also expected to go for a settlement before the trial begins.

In the absence of a settlement, however, the damages are likely to triple from $3bn, at an average of $140,000 per worker, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The case has been primarily built on the emails exchanged between Intuit chairman Bill Campbell, Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt.

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