Apple, Google agree to $415 million in antitrust hiring deal

“Apple Inc. and Google Inc. agreed to a $415 million settlement, $90.5 million more than a previously rejected accord, to end an embarrassing chapter of litigation showing how they and other Silicon Valley companies conspired to avoid hiring one another’s employees,” Joel Rosenblatt reports for Bloomberg.

“The agreement, first disclosed Jan. 13 with no details on terms and filed today in full, requires the approval of U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, who in August rejected the initial $324.5 million accord on grounds it didn’t offer enough money for affected workers,” Rosenblatt reports. “Koh said the companies, which include Adobe Systems Inc. and Intel Corp., should pay at least $380 million given ‘ample evidence’ of antitrust violations that might result in damages of more than $9 billion if the case went to a jury.”

“For the companies, approval of the new accord would avoid the risk of a trial scheduled for April and finish off a 2011 lawsuit that produced troves of internal e-mails detailing anticompetitive agreements among the chief executive officers at technology giants.,” Rosenblatt reports. “The four months it took to hammer out the new agreement suggests “serious sustained negotiation” between the two sides, Orly Lobel, a law professor at University of San Diego who specializes in labor and employment issues, said in an e-mail. ‘My prediction is she will approve the settlement,’ Lobel said, referring to Koh.”

Read more in the full article here.

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