The $324 million settlement proposed by technology companies to resolve the anti-poaching class action lawsuit filed by Silicon Valley employees was rejected by the court.
The technology companies involved in the lawsuit include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
Settlement falls below the reasonable range
According to Reuters, United States District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the amount of the proposed settlement “falls below the range of reasonableness.”
Observers in the technology industry are closely watching the developments in the case because of the possibility that the complainants would receive a huge amount in damages. In addition, the media is waiting for an opportunity to have an in-depth review of the world or hiring practices of some of the biggest technology companies in the United States.
Some tech workers want to renegotiate the settlement with Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe
The legal counsels of the plaintiffs argued that Judge Koh should approve the settlement because the workers would be confronting serious risk on appeal if the case moves forward. Some of the Silicon Valley tech workers filed motions objected the settlement, and recommended that both parties should return to negotiations. They are hoping to get a higher settlement amount.
The anti-poaching class action lawsuit was filed in-behalf of 64,000 software and hardware engineers, programmers, web developers and other technical employees in the Silicon Valley.
The tech workers accused Apple, Adobe Systems, Intel, and Google Inc are engaged in an “overarching conspiracy” to eliminate competition to maintain lower wages.
The tech giants agreed to settle the anti-poaching class action lawsuit in April. The complainants originally intended to seek approximately $3 billion in damages at a trial, which could be tripled to $9 billion under the antitrust law.
The complainants primarily based their anti-poaching lawsuit against the tech companies on the e-mails between the late Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, and Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google Inc indicating that they developed a plan to avoid hiring their top engineers.