Apple, Google & others settle in anti-trust suit over no-poaching agreements for $324M


Reuters reports today that Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel have settled in the long running antitrust lawsuit filed by employees alleging the companies entered into agreements to not hire employees from one another. Apple previously settled out of court in a lawsuit brought on by the Department of Justice for the same practices, but the class-action suit from employees settled today was given the go ahead last year.

Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to settle a large antitrust lawsuit over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court filing on Thursday.

The lawsuits have exposed many emails between Steve Jobs, Google executives and others showing the companies regularly discussed agreements in place to prevent hires from the other companies.

“This is an excellent resolution of the case that will benefit class members. We look forward to presenting it to the Court and making the terms available,” stated Dermody, Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiff Class. 

The trial for the lawsuit was scheduled to take place next month in May, but Reuters says Apple today settled along with the three other companies. Unfortunately there aren’t any details yet on exactly what Apple and others agreed to in the settlement. The terms of the deal will remain confidential until next month when the plaintiffs file settlement papers.

Update: Reuters now reports that the total paid between all the companies is $324 million, a significant sum of money putting Apple’s share in the neighborhood of $100M since it is the biggest company involved. Divided between the 64,000 plaintiffs however, the total stretches to just over $5000 per person.

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Walt Disney Co’s Pixar and Lucasfilm units and Intuit Inc had already agreed to a settlement, with Disney paying about $9 million and Intuit paying $11 million.

Any settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. A hearing on final approval of the Intuit and Disney deals is scheduled for next week.

The plaintiffs’ law firm said in a statement that “Class counsel will file with the Court a motion seeking preliminary approval of the settlements, approval of a plan to provide notice to the class, and set a date for a hearing on final settlement approval.” 

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  1. homeshopper - 9 years ago

    No details on the settlement? What the hell is our government doing?! Even if the agreement was made out of court, why does it have to be secret?

    • rahhbriley - 9 years ago

      Because it was likely apart of the agreement to not disclose it. This isn’t the same as when they settled with the DOJ over the same issue.
      Rabble Rabble Rabble!!!!

      • rahhbriley - 9 years ago

        And we’ll probably hear shortly how much it was, or how much people are speculating it was. I believe I also read somewhere that Judge Koh still has to approve it.

  2. roberthildenbrand - 9 years ago

    This case is the best reason to break large companies like apple, Samsung, Ect.., up into smaller companies.

    Improve competition. Worker choice in companies to work for, and reduce the all controlling power companies have over the consumer, the general public, and the worker.

    • hmurchison - 9 years ago

      Sounds nice but our Government is for the Corporation now and not the Citizen. It the punishment is not severe there there’s no dis-incentive to do the same thing again. 324 million split across 4 companies is play money.

  3. Its still disgusting to think that companies like Google and Apple (which are quite well known for worker equalities e.t.c.) to even consider such a stupid thing as “non hire policies”.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.