“Silicon Valley companies have sweetened the pot to try to get rid of an embarrassing class-action antitrust suit that accuses them of conspiring against their own employees,” David Streitfeld reports for The New York Times. “Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe are offering a joint payment of $415 million to settle the case, according to a source close to the negotiations, up from the $324.5 million they offered in the spring.”

“Lawyers for the 64,000 software engineers who are the class-action plaintiffs have already agreed to the new figure, but that does not automatically end the case. The earlier amount was acceptable to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, but it was rejected by the judge overseeing the case as inadequate,” Streitfeld reports. “The settlement money is pocket change to the companies, which include some of the world’s wealthiest. If they let the case go to trial, however, it might corrode their image as forward-thinking, worker-friendly benevolent empires.”

“The first settlement was criticized by one of the five named plaintiffs, Michael Devine, who said it was not enough to deter the companies. In an unusual move for a judge in a class-action case, Lucy H. Koh agreed in August that the initial settlement was not ‘within the range of reasonableness.’ She appeared annoyed that the lawyers for the class were taking the easy way out by settling,” Streitfeld reports. “The lawyers’ cut of the settlement is as much as 25 percent. If the case went to trial, they might lose, in which case they would get nothing for years of work.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If anyone understands years of work wasted in a courtroom presided over by Lucy Koh, it’s Apple.

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