Judge green-lights $415M settlement in Apple, Google anti-poaching lawsuit

courtroom gavel

US District Judge Lucy Koh handed down final approval late Wednesday for a settlement between Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel, and their former employees. The payout is said to be worth around $415 million, and should effectively end the long-running Silicon Valley anti-poaching suit.

For context, in 2011, employees of the aforementioned tech firms filed a class action lawsuit against the companies for anti-competitive labor practices. The suit alleged the firms conspired to avoid hiring each other’s workers in an effort to curtail salaries, costing workers $3 billion in wages.

In August of last year, the two sides reached a settlement for $324 million, but Judge Koh rejected the proposal on the grounds that it would not be enough to cover all of the employees included in the suit. Then in March, Koh gave preliminary approval to a new agreement worth $415 million.

Each of the 60,000+ employees included in the suit will receive part of the settlement based on their salary between the years 2005 and 2009, the alleged conspiracy period.  Attorneys in the case asked for about $81 million in fees, but Judge Koh decided to only award them about $40 million.

Source: Reuters