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March 5, 2015

Silicon Valley ‘no poaching’ suit could be settled for $415m

Employees from Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe accused the companies of conspiring against them.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have received preliminary approval for a $415m anti-trust settlement with employees of tech firms.

The employees had filed a class action suit against the companies accusing them of conspiring to keep their wages in check by agreeing not to poach each other’s employees.

Initially, the class action filed by over 64,000 employees belonging to the Silicon Valley giants asked for $3bn in compensation for restricting their employment opportunities.

Previously, it was also reported that if the plaintiffs win the case, it could have landed them $9bn under US antitrust laws.

The companies were also accused of putting a cap on the salaries of their employees through several no-poaching tactics, including "do not call" lists, intra-office communications, and emails, reported AppleInsider.

The tech titans initially agreed to settle for $324.5m, but US District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the offer.

The Associated Press cited Koh as saying that she was satisfied after the companies increased their earlier offer from $324.5m to $415m, and has invited final comments on the deal before granting final approval on 9th June hearing.

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In the original complaint, filed by the plaintiffs, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit were also accused of being a part of the conspiracy, but the companies settled the dispute in 2013, by offering $20m in damages.

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