Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe settle conspiracy lawsuit with $324 million payment

Four major Silicon Valley-based tech companies, Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe, have agreed to settle a lawsuit that claimed they tried to hold down the salaries of its workers and restrict hiring employees from each other. As part of the settlement, the four businesses will pay a total of $324 million to the employees who are a part of the lawsuit, which was originally filed nearly three years ago.

At the time, the 64,000 workers who were included as part of the case claimed that Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe, among other companies, had worked together in order to not actively recruit team members from each other. It also claimed that those same companies agreed to put caps on salary offers. The plaintiffs used emails that were written by Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, where Schmidt told Jobs he would fire a Google recruiter for trying to hire an Apple employee, as evidence of the conspiracy. 

Reuters reports that Google, Apple and Intel would not comment on the settlement. An Adobe spokesperson said the company would not admit to any wrongdoing but added it decided to settle "in order to avoid the uncertainties, cost and distraction of litigation." Three other Silicon Valley companies named in the original lawsuit, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Intuit, had already offered their own settlements.

Source: Reuters | Money gavel image via Shutterstock

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19 Comments

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techbeck said,
Dont see why an agreement like this was needed. A NDA would be sufficient enough.

It is about money: They create a "cartel" to keep salaries under control.

It's not uncommon for companies to agree not to headhunt each others teams.. Even more so when the companies work together on a lot of stuff as well as compete on others.. It's not worth the potential drama pissing off the company taking one member for one project, at the cost of good relations on any projects you might be working together on.

Now agreeing to keep wages down, that's not good.. you can't agree on wages between companies..

Wow pennies...
MS only a short few years ago got Fined by the EU 800 million
for a bug in their software which neglected to show the Browser ballot screen
to users for a short time lol and here these Crooks get off with a wrist slap pretty freakin
shameful justice system

dingl_ said,
MS only a short few years ago got Fined by the EU 800 million
for a bug in their software which neglected to show the Browser ballot screen

Cut it out with the misinformation.

Microsoft was fined for providing false testimony to the EC for over a year. A company the size of Microsoft doesn't do something like that easily - it has a dedicated legal department that is responsible for ensuring that the company is complying with its legal obligations and the EC ruling would have been top priority. It was either gross negligence or willful criminality, neither of which is excusable by claiming it was merely a "bug".

dingl_ said,
Wow pennies...
MS only a short few years ago got Fined by the EU 800 million
for a bug in their software which neglected to show the Browser ballot screen
to users for a short time lol and here these Crooks get off with a wrist slap pretty freakin
shameful justice system

You need to learn to read. This never went through the justice system, it was a lawsuit, not a legal issues. And it never went to trial, this was a settlement, agreed upon by the parties that Sued in the first place.

Cut it out with the misinformation.

Microsoft was fined for failing to adhere to the rules and conditions set from their previous judgement. It was Microsoft themselves that discovered the issue and brought it to the attention of the EC. They were not providing false testimony. You can hate them all you want but don't be a hypocrite and tell someone to stop spreading misinformation when you yourself are trying just that.

Meduso said,
It was Microsoft themselves that discovered the issue and brought it to the attention of the EC.

False. It was Google and Opera who brought the issue to the attention of the EC.

Source: http://www.tomshardware.com/ne...r-Ballot-Mistake,21403.html

Meduso said,
They were not providing false testimony.

False. Microsoft entered into a legally binding contract and provided testimony to the EC that it was in compliance when it had actually been out of compliance for 14 months.

Source: http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news...browser-ballot-fine-from-ec
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...case#Related_investigations

Meduso said,
You can hate them all you want but don't be a hypocrite and tell someone to stop spreading misinformation when you yourself are trying just that.

Can I have an apology now?

"This is the call of the courts: to protect the exploited, to bring justice to the exploiters, and to vanquish corruption from the corporate corners of the world."

/s