Apple, Google Settle Class-Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have settled the lawsuit levied against them for their anti-poaching agreements, reports Reuters. The settlement was revealed in a court filing, but the terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

    The no-hire agreements between the companies first came to light in 2011, after tech workers filed a class action lawsuit alleging the companies had conspired not to poach employees from one another in an effort to keep salaries lower.

    No-solicitation agreements dated back to 2005 and in addition to Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe, involved Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, among others. The agreements prevented company recruiters from contacting employees on specific no contact lists.

    The United States Department of Justice got involved in the lawsuit back in 2010 and the companies were required to cease entering into anti-poaching agreements. A class-action civil suit covering 64,000 employees was allowed to proceed, and that is the lawsuit that was settled today for an unspecified amount of money. The terms of the settlement will be presented to District Judge Lucy Koh on May 27.

    Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit previously settled their cases for approximately $20 million.

    Update 4PM PT: According to Reuters, the four companies have agreed to pay a total of $324 million in order to settle the lawsuit. While spokespeople for Apple, Google, and Intel declined to comment, an Adobe representative said the company settled "in order to avoid the uncertanties, cost, and distraction of litigation."

    The class-action suit was asking for $3 billion in damages, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.

    Article Link: Apple, Google Settle Class-Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit
  2. macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    Can't wait to see how much money is involved here....
  3. macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
  4. macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2012
  5. macrumors regular


    Sep 24, 2012
    One mores step towards Neurmancer's hiring tactics.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Sep 23, 2008
    Judge Koh is a name that always seems to pop up whenever I read about lawsuits involving Apple, Samsung or Google. Is she such an authority in this field or do they purposely attempt to get her on these cases?
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 24, 2013
    Midwest, US
    Wow! that was fast! And probably for a lot less than they could get. But what do I know (not much) :D
  8. macrumors 68030


    One big added headache, all those companies involved, could do without and now hopefully, can put behind them.

    One wonders though how this will affect recruitment from now on.
  9. macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    64,000 people in the class action, even if the settlement was for example 100 million, that would be about $1500 per person plus the lawyer fees will probably take half so lucky to end up with $750 or so.

    I guess it is about the principal though..
  10. macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Sweden & California
    Yeah. Or if the settlement was more they'd get more. If it were ten times that number each person might clear $7,500-10,000. That'd be a billion dollar fine though.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2006
    Pixar, Lucasfilm and Intuit paid $20 Million to cover 8% of the workforce. So assuming that Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe are liable for the remaining 92% of the claimants, a proportionate settlement would be $230 million. Small change when split between 4 companies of this size.
  12. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    They brought it on themselves and settled for next to nothing. My heart bleeds for them on this headache:rolleyes:.
  13. macrumors 68020


    Jan 26, 2003
    Good. I assume they chose not to fight this too hard. Apple's a great company but their involvement in this was disappointing and a definite black mark on their reputation.
  14. macs4nw, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014

    macrumors 68030


    That may be so, and re your second point, we don't know that yet, or even if this will be approved by judge Koh.

    The amount proposed by experts testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs was $3Billion, which would be an average of just under 47 thousand dollars each, which is admittedly not a whole lot of compensation for lost potential income, but that proposal would of course include all 64,000 suing valley employees, not only those directly affected thru potential lost employment opportunities.

    I'm merely saying, it's good to move on for all involved.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    Ss, dd

    This was attempted by companies in the 80s/90s (with Oracle, Sybase and Ingres) and here it happened again in the 2010s. I am happy of the outcome but it's no guarantee it won't happen again.

  16. macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2010
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Since they haven't been doing this (DOJ made them stop in 2010), It not impacting the recruiment anymore.
  17. macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Agreed. From reading various stories I get the sense that part of the problem was Steve felt like they were part of the Apple family and the other guys were just taking them away. He probably genuinely thought (obviously) that Apple is the best company and why would anyone want to go somewhere else? Like the people were leaving against their own will or something. His arrogance had an upside and a downside. Not everyone, including employees, are as fanatical about Apple as some of us fans are. It's just a job, and hey—that job at Google doing mostly the same thing says it pays more! So they follow the money. That's not the kind of person I am, but there's nothing inherently wrong with that either. You have to take care of yourself and your family.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2012
    Bad news for the common man. If this had gone to court then workers would have ended up with more protection.
  19. thekev, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014

    macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    Doh! Normally I spend more time reading these things, but it was a lighter comment. I hope it's enough to influence them away from future illegal behavior. That would be a real win.

    I definitely agree with you there.

    That's not really accurate. If you look at the email between Jobs and Palm's CEO at the time, the Palm CEO actually mentions how many employees Apple hired away from them. He was also rumored to be a hostile boss, so I don't believe a concept of family had anything to do with it.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    Apple has $150 billion of cash, can't imagine Google is struggling for cash either. Divided by those companies $500m is not material. This is pretty scummy behaviour by the employers, I'm glad they've been "outed"
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jun 29, 2008
    New York, NY
    Anyone else find it funny that the G in google fits perfectly into the apple bite?
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2013
    Everyone gets a $20 iTunes gift card and a $20 google play card.

    Those numbers work out to be about 5k per person. Seems like the companies got off very cheap as employee bidding wars would have driven up salaries much more than that.


    Much like Samsung's strategy to rip off apple products even if it cost them a billion dollars it was worth it, so was it worth it here.

    These companies saved hundreds of millions if not billions in salary inflation so it was well worth it for all of them.

    If someone said "I can save you one billion dollars over the next five years but you will have to pay 340 million back in 8 years" pretty much everyone is saying yes please.
  23. macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    I recall laughing and stating the settlement would be nowhere near the $3 billion and knew they weren't anywhere near reality when they discussed $9 billion.
  24. macrumors 68040

    Sep 4, 2009
    Considering how you slice it, you are taking average $5000 to $1000 per employee. I am sure someone here will follow the distribution of the cash.
  25. macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    $324 million? WTF! Someone sold out. Jerks.

    Don't take advantage of your OWN engineers, morons (Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, etc.). :mad:

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