U.S. judge approves $415m settlement in poaching lawsuit involving Apple

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U.S. district judge Lucy Koh has granted a $415 million settlement to end a poaching lawsuit in which workers accused Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe of conspiring to hold down worker salaries and prevent engineers from taking jobs with rival companies.

“The plaintiffs alleged that Apple Inc, Google Inc , Intel Corp and Adobe Systems Inc agreed to avoid poaching each other’s employees, thus limiting job mobility and, as a result, keeping a lid on salaries,” Reuters reports.

Attorneys representing the workers were seeking around $81 million in fees, but Koh decided that this would be an inappropriate “windfall” for the lawyers and awarded $40 million instead. Koh added that the $415 million settlement was fair for the thousands of workers involved.

The antitrust lawsuit was first filed in 2011, and was based on emails between former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and other top tech executives, in which they discussed plans to prevent each other from poaching engineers.