Apple and other tech giants will pay $415m to settle anti-poaching case


Apple profits
Apple agrees to pay out over anti-poaching lawsuit.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

It’s been a long hard slog for all involved but the 64,000-person class action anti-poaching lawsuit brought against four major tech companies, including Apple, is finally over.

The companies — which also included Google, Intel, and Adobe — reportedly agreed to pay a total of $415 million for their misdeeds.

The court case revolved around a number of tech companies which stood accused by former employees of coming to an agreement not to poach each other’s talent, thereby having the side effect of suppressing wages. Originally, Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar all stood accused, although Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar paid a collective $20 million to settle early on.

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe faced possible damages of $9 billion, only to agree to settle last year for the comparatively tiny sum of $324.5 million.

At this point, plaintiff Michael Devine came forward and asked the trial to be restarted on the basis that the sum was “grossly inadequate.” In a letter to the judge, Devine compared it to a shoplifter being caught stealing a $400 iPad, and only being asked to pay Apple $40 in damages, while also being allowed to keep the iPad and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing.

The trial was restarted, and finally settled earlier this week — although the figure was not publicly revealed. While it is still not known for sure, it is believed to be $415 million, which is $90.5 million more than the previous rejected deal.

In total, this means the employees walk away with a total of $435 million, although a portion of this will be eaten up by legal fees.

Hopefully all involved can now put this long-running incident behind them and move forward.

Source: Reuters


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