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Apple, Google agree to pay $415M to settle 'no-poach' class action suit

Apple, Google and two other Silicon Valley tech companies have agreed to pay out $415 million to settle an anti-trust class action lawsuit alleging so-called "no-poach" measures artificially suppressed employee salaries.

Jobs and Schmidt


The agreed upon amount was made public on Thursday after a court filing earlier this week revealed Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe had reached new settlement terms. An official number was unavailable at the time, but a preliminary motion to settle filed in court today detail a $415 million.

Defendants agreed to a smaller $324.5 million settlement last April, but Judge Lucy Koh rejected the offer after hearing objections from named plaintiff Michael Devine, saying Apple and others should "pay their fair share."

Judge Koh's initial rejection was based in part on a prior settlement reached by codefendants Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, which settled out of court for $20 million. In total, the class will receive some $435 million, though a portion will go to legal fees.

Employees working for Apple, Google and other Silicon Valley tech firms sued their employers over alleged anti-poaching mandates enacted by executives, including late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. The complaint said defendants effectively put a cap on salaries by employing various no-poach tactics like "do not call" lists, emails and intra-office communications.

Also of note is a U.S. Department of Justice investigation and lawsuit over the same supposed anti-competitive agreements entered into by Apple and Google. The companies settled out of court in 2010.