“Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. have to go back to the negotiating table, or face trial, after a judge rejected their $324.5 million settlement of claims that they schemed to not recruit each other’s workers,” Joel Rosenblatt reports for Bloomberg.

“U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, ruled yesterday that the amount proposed by the technology giants and lawyers for the employees wasn’t enough in light of the $9 billion at stake if the case went to a jury,” Rosenblatt reports. “Koh also said the settlement fund should be bigger in light of a $20 million accord reached earlier with three other companies sued by employees — Intuit Inc. and Walt Disney Co.’s animation studio Pixar and visual-effects specialist Lucasfilm Ltd.”

“Whether the case settles or goes to trial, Koh’s ruling stretches out a case filed in 2011 that’s been an embarrassment for Apple and Google in particular by revealing behind-the-scenes brokering among top executives at the expense of their workers. The lawsuit is a private action that mirrors claims the companies settled with the U.S. Justice Department in 2010,” Rosenblatt reports. “Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe employees reached a settlement in May for about 1/10 of the $3 billion they planned to seek at a trial that was set to start four days later. Under federal antitrust law, damages won at a trial might have been tripled.”

Read more in the full article here.

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