Silicon Valley Firms Settle Suit Alleging They Colluded Not to Raid Competitions’ Talent

Employers raid each other’s workforces all the time in order to prod talented employees from their competitors to come work for them. That can often work well for the poached employees who can demand higher salaries and other perks for their services.

But what if companies conspired not to poach each other’s talent? That what employees of four Silicon Valley giants alleged in a lawsuit that these firms had done–limiting competition for their services.

Now comes the news that the four–Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems–have settled the suit to the tune of $324.5 million. After the plaintiffs’ attorneys take their cut, the workers (about 64,000) will each receive an average of $4,000 under the settlement, according to court filings.

The suit, filed in 2011, accused the companies of conspiring to limit competition and keep wages depressed for engineers, programmers and other technical staff.

A hearing is set for June 19 at which U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will be asked to give preliminary approval to the settlement. One of the named plaintiffs objects to the settlement because he feels it lets the companies off too easily.

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