Tech Giants Pay $415 Million to Settle Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

Business / Tech

Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel settled an anti-poaching lawsuit brought against them by former employees which has the companies paying out a combined $415 million. The settlement will be broken down to around $6500 per eligible employee which doesn’t cover the amount of wages they claim were lost due to the anti-poaching deals between the four tech giants. The tech companies are accused of agreeing not to hire or recruit each others employees unless they notify each other beforehand.

Evidence from the lawsuit shows that the main figure behind the anti-poaching practices could have been late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. A letter from Jobs to then Google CEO Eric Schmidt in 2007 asked him to stop his recruitment department from scouting Apple employees, reports Cnet.

Competition in Silicon Valley is fierce and hiring and retaining talent is a paramount priority for major technology companies so it’s not surprising that they would make these agreements. Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel all maintain their innocence and claim nothing they did was wrong but rather than continue litigation it seems the tech giants are happy dishing out the money and moving on. Probably a good idea as this episode will likely be forgotten in a week or two and the public will move on to the next story making headlines.

The four companies had previously agreed to pay $325 million to settle the case, but in August Federal Judge Lucy Koh rejected the settlement. Judge Koh said that the case against the four technology companies was a good one and the workers harmed by the no-poaching policy were likely owed quite a bit more.

So the big four ended up paying almost $100 million more but let’s face it, $415 million is a drop in the bucket for these guys. What do you think of the lawsuit and the role played by the big four? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

  Source: CNN Money
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