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March 3, 2015

Judge Likely to Accept $415M Offer from Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel

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A $415-million offer from Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the companies of conspiracy, appears to have the approval of the federal judge in charge of the case.

Judge Lucy Koh during court on Monday seemed to support the settlement put forward by the four companies and scheduled a final approval hearing in July, the San Jose Mercury News is reporting.

The deal offers $90.5 million more than a previous offer by the companies — one that was rejected by Koh last August. At the time, she said the employees affected by the no-poaching policy deserved more than the $324.5 million offered.

The suit, filed by 64,600 employees, accused the companies of working together to eliminate competitive hiring while keeping wages low.

If the settlement is approved by Koh this summer, it means the tech firms will avoid a trial.

The case originally involved Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit as well, but those companies have since reached settlements with their employees.

Lucasfilm and Pixar each settled for $9 million, while Intuit’s agreement came with an $11-million price-tag.

Court documents show low wages and discussion among the named companies allegedly began in 2005 with Pixar and Lucasfilm. At that time, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was still in charge at Pixar. Shortly after that, Apple reportedly forged a deal with Google where the two companies would not try to draw employees from one another. Similar deals were supposedly made between the other companies as well.



Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.