“A U.S. judge on Thursday said she had concerns about approving a $324.5 million settlement involving Apple, Google and two other tech companies in a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s workers,” Dan Levine reports for Reuters. “Tech employees filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011. The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and the opportunity to peek into the world of Silicon Valley’s elite.”

“The four companies agreed to settle with the plaintiffs in April for a total of $324.5 million. The plaintiffs had planned to ask for about $3 billion in damages at trial, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law,” Levine reports. “U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California must approve the deal. At a court hearing on Thursday, Koh said the plaintiffs had leverage going into trial against the defendants, given the strength of the evidence in the case.”

“‘I just have concerns about whether this is really fair to the class,'” Koh said, adding that she had not made a decision about whether to approve the deal,” Levine reports. “However, Koh also praised the settlement for allowing all the plaintiffs to recover money, regardless of whether they filed a paper claim. Workers would receive a few thousand dollars each on average. Koh has previously approved separate settlements totaling $20 million reached by Walt Disney Co’s Lucasfilm and Pixar units, and by Intuit Inc.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Plaintiff blasts Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel settlement deal in Silicon Valley poaching case – May 12, 2014
Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe settle antitrust hiring case for $324 million – April 24, 2014
Apple, Google, other firms could pay ‘blindingly high’ $9 billion in anti-poaching suit – April 8, 2014
A whiff of settlement in Silicon Valley anti-poaching case – March 28, 2014
Steve Jobs wasn’t okay with Google hiring even former Apple engineers – March 27, 2014
Judge Koh: 60,000 Silicon Valley workers may pursue collusion case against Apple, Google, others as group – January 14, 2014
Steve Jobs threatened patent suit to enforce no-hire policy, according to court filing – January 23, 2013
Judge Koh orders Apple CEO Tim Cook to four hours of questioning in anti-poaching case – January 17, 2013
Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm fail to get staff-poaching antitrust lawsuit dismissed – April 19, 2012
Court filing: Steve Jobs told Google’s Schmidt to stop poaching workers – January 27, 2012
Did Apple CEO Steve Jobs ask Palm’s Colligan to collude? – August 20, 2009
Did Apple and Google make an anti-poaching deal? – August 9, 2009