Dallas, Texas 05/27/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Four big Silicon Valley companies have now formally agreed to pay $324.5M to settle the claims that were brought by employees who had accused them of limiting the competition by colluding that they will not poach talent from the other company. This settlement, between Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google, Intel Corp, Adobe Systems and around 64,000 workers, had been disclosed in the papers that were filed last week with the federal court at San Jose, California The United States District Judge Lucy Koh has also been asked to now preliminarily approve this accord at the 19 June hearing, over the objection by 1 of the 4 named plaintiffs.
Michael Devine has been saying that the settlement had let the companies off very easily. This payout had been originally reported earlier but had not been not been officially confirmed. Lawyers for these plaintiffs might seek upto 25% of this settlement amount as legal-fees. Filed in 2011, this lawsuit had accused the Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to in effect limit the competition and keep the wages down for the engineers, programmers & the other technical staff. This case has been very closely watched due to the potential $9B of damages that have been sought, & the occasional very embarrassing revelations into exactly how Silicon Valley operates.
The Antitrust Case
Amongst the communications that had become public were the pointed emails from Steve Job, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder that at times had admonished Eric Schmidt, the CEO at that time, to discontinue raiding his company. This settlement now gives workers only just a few thousand dollars each on an average. The combined profit of the companies in their latest financial years was around $60 billion, with 3/5th coming from Apple. In the court papers, 2 law firms who represented these plaintiffs said that Devine’s objection shouldn’t doom what they think is a fair & reasonable settlement for the antitrust case.