After almost four years of fighting a court case, Apple and three other large tech companies have finally reached a deal to end the class action lawsuit against them for the anti-poaching agreements that established with one another.
First filed back in 2011, the class-action complaint accusses Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe of having colluded to not hire each other’s employees away. Steve Jobs himself was involved in the deal; the Apple founder’s emails to Silicon Valley executives like Google CEO Eric Schmidt, establishing the terms of the anti-poaching agreement, have been cited as evidence in the case. But the problems with such a deal are obvious: they prevent employees from leaving a job at one tech company for a better paying job at anotber one.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected a proposal for Apple and its fellow defendents to settle the lawsuit for $324.5 million. Koh called the settlement figure unreasonable.
This time, however, the new settlement has been reached with the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. The exact number that Apple and other companies will be settling for is still unknown, although it is believed to be at least $380 million.
According to a statement made by Apple and its fellow descendents today, the new deal will be detailed in a forthcoming filing, which will then be submitted to Koh for final approval.
Personally, I think this is a case Apple should lose. It’s actions were clearly not in the best interest of its employees. Luckily, that seems to be a side of Apple that has been firmly left in the past.