Shareholder files class action suit against Apple over anti-poaching agreements

apple hq headquarters

It looks like tech employees aren’t the only ones upset with Apple’s anti-poaching agreements. Shareholder R. Andre Klein has filed a class action lawsuit against the Cupertino company, saying the deals caused it to grossly mismanage its assets, mislead its investors, and hurt its overall value.

According to the filing, Klein is suing on behalf of all Apple shareholders and has named a number of its executives as individual defendants including Tim Cook, and even the late Steve Jobs. He is seeking a jury trial, and asking for a settlement that would resolve “millions of dollars in damages.”

PatentlyApple has more on the lawsuit:

This is a shareholder derivative action seeking to remedy the wrongdoing committed by Apple’s senior directors and officers who have caused millions of dollars in damages to Apple and its shareholders. Plaintiff asserts claims under federal law for violations of Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 78n(a), and under state law for breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services.

Apple’s co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Steve Jobs (now deceased), and other Apple executives and directors entered into unlawful, anti-competitive non-solicitation agreements with executives at other companies, such as Adobe Systems (“Adobe”), Google, Inc. (“Google”), and Intel Corporation (“Intel”). Pursuant to these agreements, which violated United States antitrust laws, the Individual Defendants caused Apple to agree not to recruit the employees of other companies, and vice versa.

The lawsuit follows last week’s ruling by Judge Koh, which rejected Apple’s $320 million settlement proposal between the four tech companies and a group of tech employees. Using a recent settlement between Disney and Pixar as a benchmark, Koh said the deal is worth closer to $400 million.

What do you think, does Mr. Klein have a case here?