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Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe agree to settlement in employee-poaching lawsuit

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Four of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, including Google and Apple, have agreed to a new settlement deal in an antitrust lawsuit over alleged agreements the firms had not to poach each others' employees. Adobe, Intel, Google, and Apple reached an agreement on Tuesday four years after the lawsuit, which accused the companies of limiting job mobility, was brought against them by workers in the tech sector.

The previous settlement was rejected last year

District Judge Lucy Koh rejected a $324.5 million settlement proposed last year by the four companies after one of the named plaintiffs objected. Koh said that the figure wasn't enough to compensate for lost wages that employees might have suffered. The case was fueled by emails between high-level Silicon Valley executives, in which Steve Jobs personally asked Google's Eric Schmidt to stop poaching Apple employees, and Intel CEO Paul Otellini referred to "a handshake ‘no recruit' between Eric [Schmidt]" and himself.

The full cost of the new settlement has not yet been revealed, but in court documents seen last year, Judge Koh said that a new settlement would have to total at least $380 million. The companies involved in the case have yet to comment on the agreement, but Reuters says a court filing to be published "imminently" will offer a detailed explanation of the new settlement.