Apple, Google, others agree to shell out $415 million to resolve anti-poaching lawsuit

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Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe have agreed to pay $415 million (£273.5m) to resolve the anti-poaching class action lawsuit filed by 65,000 tech workers.

The proposed settlement was revealed in a motion filed by the companies in the US District Court in San Jose, Calif on Thursday.

The lawsuit, filed in 2011, accused Apple, Google, Intel Corp and Adobe Systems Inc of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees. The case was based mainly on emails in which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt and some of their rivals discussed plans to avoid poaching each other’s workers.

The action follows a previous judgment that rejected the tech giants’ first settlement proposal. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, last year rejected a $324.5 million settlement of the lawsuit for falling “below the range of reasonableness.”

In the motion filed Thursday, the defendants continued to deny of any wrongdoing or violating any law.

“We deny the allegations contained in the suit and we deny that we violated any laws or that we have any obligation to the plaintiff,” Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said in an emailed statement.

“We elected to settle the matter in order to avoid the risk, burdens and uncertainty of ongoing litigation.”
Representatives of Apple, Google and Adobe declined to comment.

“We are pleased that this settlement exceeds the benchmark for approval previously set by the court, and more importantly provides certain, meaningful relief to the class,” said Kelly Dermody, one of the lead attorneys for the class.

The new settlement deal is still awaiting court’s approval.