Google Inc., Apple Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. have reached a $415 million settlement in the antitrust class action alleging they illegally agreed not to poach each other’s engineers. Interestingly, this is $90.5 million more than a settlement a California federal judge rejected last year. The new settlement comes after U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh rejected the defendants’ proposed $324.5 million settlement in August, saying it was at least $55 million too low. The companies had filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit asking it to vacate Judge Koh’s decision. But they have now sent a letter to the appellate court stating that a new settlement has been reached.
This new settlement, if approved by the court, may finally resolve claims that the companies suppressed pay for software engineers after secretly agreeing not to poach each other’s employees. The allegations came to light after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the hiring practices of several Silicon Valley technology companies.
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