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Judge Gives Preliminary Approval to $415 Million Settlement in No-Poaching Suit

A judge approved a settlement amount in the suit against Apple, Google, Adobe Systems and Intel.

Reuters / Aly Song

A judge has tentatively approved a $415 million settlement in a class action suit brought by workers who accused some of Silicon Valley’s best-known companies, including Apple and Google, of conspiring to avoid poaching one another’s employees.

Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who had earlier rejected a lower settlement offer, determined that the more lucrative proposal was, “sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate” to compensate potentially thousands of the salaried employees who worked for these companies from 2005 to 2009.

The suit, filed in 2011, alleged that Apple, Google, Adobe Systems and Intel kept a lid on salaries and reduced job mobility by agreeing not to recruit one another’s employees.

Three other companies that were originally named in the complaint — Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit — opted to settle in 2013 for $20 million.

A final hearing on the settlement amount will be held on July 9. All of the companies involved in the proposed settlement said the offer does not constitute an admission of guilt.

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