The second attempt at a settlement between Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe for a four-year-old lawsuit over alleged employee hiring practices now has a price. In a filing today, the plaintiffs in the case said the recently-met settlement is valued at $415 million, which is $90.5 million more than an earlier deal that was rejected by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh. And more importantly, it's above the $380 million Koh said the accused companies would need to agree to before she'd approve it.
Very likely the end of this battle
In 2011, the four companies — along with Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit — were accused of forging no-poaching agreements, made at the highest levels between 2005 to 2009. The prosecution further claimed that these agreements not only kept the companies from hiring talent away from one another, but also helped them set and limit what they paid employees. Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit all made separate settlement deals worth an additional $20 million, putting the total value of this latest settlement at $435 million. However, that's still far, far below the $9 billion the complaint originally sought.
The expected $415 million figure was reported yesterday by The New York Times.
The internal emails that were made public from the lawsuit reveal a treasure trove of information about what was going on at the companies during the time. That includes ones made between late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and then Google CEO Eric Schmidt over a "hands-off list" of employees, as well as Google's own dealings with recruiters. Those practices also prompted intervention from the Justice Department, which made the companies agree to a five-year no solicitation deal back in 2010.