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Apple, Google agree to new settlement in anti-poaching class action suit

According to a court filing on Tuesday, both Apple and Google have agreed to new terms to settle a class action lawsuit alleging artificial suppression of wages through cross-company anti-poaching measures.

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


Apple and Google are among four tech companies to sign off on the revamped conditions that will possibly bring an end to the drawn out antitrust lawsuit, reports Reuters. While the sum has yet to be disclosed, the publication notes at least one named plaintiff who disagreed with an initial offer is now on board with the latest amount.

In 2011, employees working for Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe filed suit against their employers over supposed "no poach" rules put in place by company executives, including late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. According to plaintiffs, the named Silicon Valley heavyweights implemented a variety of anti-poaching guidelines to retain talent, including "do not call" lists, emails and personal correspondence.

After being granted class status in October by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, the number of plaintiffs in the case ballooned to more than six figures.

A U.S. Department of Justice leveled similar claims after an email came to light in 2009, supposedly detailing anti-competitive agreements between Apple and Google. That case was ultimately settled out of court in 2010.

Apple previously attempted to settle the class-action dispute last April for a reported $324.5 million, but Judge Koh rebuked the deal, saying the tech giants should "pay their fair share" compared to companies that already settled, including Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm.