US: Judge brands Silicon Valley hiring collusion settlement as unreasonable

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US District Judge Lucy Koh slammed major companies’ proposed settlement to end litigation accusing the firms of colluding to not hire each other’s employees and keep wages unfairly low as an embarrassing, unreasonable offer.

Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe offered $324.5 million in settlement funds to thousands of tech employees that sued the companies for anticompetitive non-poaching agreements. But Judge Koh swiftly rejected the sum as one that “falls below the range of reasonableness.”

Experts and industry insiders had previously criticized the settlement, arguing that after taxes and fees the 64,000 plaintiffs would be awarded about $3,750.

The lawsuit, which included additional companies Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar until they settled last year, became a high-profile case representative of Silicon Valley’s alleged anticompetitive behavior against its employees. One expert hired for the case had previously estimated that damages should reach about $3 billion.

Full content: Computer World

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