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September 4, 2015

Silicon Valley giants settle no-poaching lawsuit for $415m

Concludes 4 years of legal wrangling.

By CBR Staff Writer

After four years of protracted legal proceedings, Silicon Valley giants including Apple, Google and Adobe have reached a $415m settlement over a wage dispute.

According to the plaintiffs, the tech giants colluded on a "no-poaching" agreement under which the companies agreed not to recruit each other’s workers, which illegally kept the wages of tech workers under check.

The lawsuit alleged that such an agreement by the companies affected tech workers’ wages and minimised the chances of top computer programmers and other employees to move to other technology companies.

As per the settlement of the class-action lawsuit, the accused companies will pay more than 64,000 technology workers about $5,800 each.

Initially in 2011, the plaintiffs asked for $3bn in damages, which could have tripled under the US antitrust law, withm the workers potentially netting $100,000 each.

Previously, the US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California rejected the $324.5m settlement offered by the companies stating the offer as inadequate.

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe Systems will pay the revised settlement. However, last year Koh approved a separate settlement requiring Intuit, Pixar Animation Studios and Lucasfilm to pay a $20m settlement to resolve allegations made against them in the same case.

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Associated Press cited the court document, which highlighted that six workers objected to the ruling claiming that they were not getting paid enough in the settlement.

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