Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel are being accused of trying to hold down the salaries of workers. The employees claimed the Silicon Valley companies formed an agreement not to poach each other’s employees. The agreement allegedly put a cap on employees’ salaries and job options. The antitrust lawsuit was filed in 2011 and has since been closely watched.
Apple’s alleged anti-poaching agreement
The public first became aware of this issue when late Apple CEO/co-founder Steve Jobs shared the details of a non-poaching agreement. Apple shared the agreement with Google’s Eric Schmidt and other company executives.
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Judge Lucy Koh from San Jose, Calif. scheduled a hearing for Monday to decide on a possible new deal. This deal comes after last year’s rejection of a $324.5 million settlement. Koh rejected the agreement after an objection from one plaintiff. The same unknown plaintiff reportedly approves of this new deal.
A look back at a previous settlement
When Koh rejected last year’s deal, she mentioned a similar settlement from 2013 that involved Disney and Intuit. She explained that Google’s and Apple’s workers got significantly less than Disney employees. She added that the plaintiff lawyers still had more against Apple and Google.
The new deal with Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel would have to match the initial settlement with a total of at least $380 million. Those in favor of the new settlement claimed the trial risks are very high. An earlier ruling from the last decade favoring Apple was brought up. This ruling sided with Apple over antitrust claims involving iPod music players and resulted in the plaintiffs receiving nothing.
Some tech companies seek out talent from rival companies in hopes of improving their products or services. Employees often benefit from these deals with competitive salaries and package benefits.