Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe settle worker-poaching lawsuit

Tech giants Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have agreed to a new settlement in a lawsuit regarding employee poaching, Reuters reports.

The four-year old litigations began when tech workers out in Silicon Valley accused the firms of limiting the mobility of employees.

All four companies had agreed to not poach employees from each other, making it difficult for workers to change jobs.

The lawsuit focused heavily on a number of e-mails between the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and other rival top brass detailing how the companies could make sure they don’t lose top engineers to each other.

A settlement was agreed last year totalling $324.5 million (£213.8m), but US District Judge Lucy Koh rejected this after a plaintiff objected over the sum being too low.

At the time, Koh referred to a 2013 settlement between Disney and Intuit that saw a proportionally higher payout for workers, despite plaintiff lawyers having ‘much more leverage’ in the new case.

The new settlement has, however, been accepted by the resilient plaintiff, which means that the class action lawsuit can finally be closed.

Related: Apple to clamp down on customers abusing new app returns policy

It’s not yet clear what the exact value of the new settlement agreement is, but Koh last year said that a deal ‘would need to total at least $380 million.’

We’re expected to see a thorough explanation of the new deal ‘imminently’, which will then be passed on to Koh once more for final consideration.

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