Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to pay $324 million to settle lawsuit

Just weeks before it was slated to head to trial, a class-action lawsuit alleging that Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe had conspired to abstain from hiring one another’s engineers has been settled out of court. The four tech companies will pay a combined $324 million to roughly 64,000 workers, sources told Reuters. That’s a paltry sum compared to the $3 billion in damages the workers were seeking at trial, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law, according to the report.

Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, sources familiar with the deal said, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another’s employees in order to avert a salary war. They planned to ask for $3 billion in damages at trial, according to court filings. That could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law. The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and the opportunity to peek into the world of Silicon Valley’s elite.

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