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Apple, Google no-poach settlement reportedly on road to approval

At a hearing on Monday, District Court Judge Lucy Koh appeared satisfied with a $415 million proposal from Apple, Google and two other Silicon Valley tech companies to settle allegations that anti-poaching agreements artificially capped employee wages.

Jobs and Schmidt

According to in-court reports from Reuters, Judge Koh held no objections to terms advanced by Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe to settle an anti-trust lawsuit claiming certain Silicon Valley companies instituted off-the-books "no-poach" tactics.

"We are pleased court indicated she was going to approve the settlement," said Kelly Dermody, an attorney representing the plaintiffs.

The latest settlement was proposed in January and comes after Judge Koh rejected an identical motion worth $324.5 million last August following objections from named plaintiff Michael Devine.

At the time, the jurist said the tech firms should "pay their fair share," referencing a prior settlement in the same case reached by codefendants Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm.

The lawsuit, first filed in 2011, stems from alleged anti-poaching agreements between Apple and Google that came to light in 2009. Through emails and other correspondence, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly arranged no-poach rules with former Google chief Eric Schmidt, who now serves as the search giant's executive chairman.

The U.S. Department of Justice undertook an investigation and lawsuit against Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar over the same agreements. The companies settled out of court in 2010.