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Wednesday, September 03, 2014, 01:54 pm PT (04:54 pm ET)

Apple, Google reopen settlement talks in Silicon Valley no-poach lawsuit

In a joint court filing on Wednesday, Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel said settlement talks have resumed in a class action lawsuit over alleged wage-fixing arrangements.

Jobs and Schmidt
Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt during the iPhone's introduction at MacWorld in 2007.


The renewed mediation comes after California District Court Judge Lucy Koh denied an initial $324.5 million settlement proposal last month, saying in her order that defendants should "pay their fair share" for falsely suppressing wages.

A class of plaintiffs first sued the four tech giants in 2011 over alleged anti-poaching schemes designed to stifle competition, an immediate side effect being wage stagnation.

Defendants reached an initial settlement agreement in April, but the $324.5 million figure was a sticking point for Judge Koh. At the time, the jurist said she believed the class had enough leverage to move to a trial phase, pointing to email correspondence between company CEOs like late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

Plaintiffs in the case sued for damages reaching $3 billion, which could be trebled to $9 billion under federal law. Judge Koh has already signed off on a related round of settlements from Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Intuit worth $20 million.

As settlement talks continue, parties will move forward toward a court trial and will next meet at a Sept. 10 hearing.