A group of Apple shareholders are ready to add to the company’s anti-hiring controversy woes with a new class action lawsuit of their own that alleges Apple leadership mislead investors and hurt the stock’s overall value.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys for plaintiff R. Andre Klein with U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week, and accuses Apple’s senior management, including Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, of grossly mismanaging Apple’s resources when it struck an agreement not to hire employees from competing corporations.
Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel and other tech companies accused in a federal suit for the anti-hiring agreement, reached a settlement in April with 64,000 tech workers whose wages were kept artificially low, but Judge Lucy Koh rejected the settlement last week, saying it wasn’t harsh enough for the companies.
The plaintiff claims shareholders were harmed because Apple wasted time and assets in its settlement with the Justice Department in 2010, along with precious cash that it will have to pay in its settlement with employees. Other defendants listed in Klein’s lawsuit include William Campbell, Millard Drexler, Arthur Levinson, Robert Iger, Andrea Jung, and Fred Anderson.
The outcome of the case could be very interesting. One might think it’d be hard to argue how Apple screwed shareholders out of money by entering into non-poaching agreements that dropped labor costs, widen Apple’s margins and lined investors’ pockets.
A full copy of the case can be read below: