The technology heavyweights Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe will probably have to put more money than planned on the table to settle a potentially multi-billion dollar lawsuit with thousands of employees.
The presiding judge in the State of California holds the previously agreed amount of $ 324,500,000 to be too low. It would be at least $ 380 million, they figured in a late on Friday (local time) published prior decision.
In the process it comes to agreements between companies from the years 2005 to 2009, employees not to poach . The employee argued that this had been anti-competitive agreements, which would have denied them the prospect of higher income. The class action lawsuit about 64,000 people joined, they demanded a sum of three billion dollars.
The company and the plaintiffs negotiated instead in April the amount of $ 324,500,000 out to the dispute without settle a lawsuit. After deduction of the required attorney fees of more than $ 81 million and other costs this would ignore a payment of $ 3,750 per plaintive employees, reckoned Judge Lucy Koh ago.
From their perspective, a disadvantage of this amount but a large part of the plaintiff, because some had previously agreed to higher sums. They also pointed out that the plaintiff employee would have had a good chance of a tripled amount of U.S. antitrust law if successful in court.
At the heart of the process are mainly Apple and Google. So got an e-mail exchange between Apple founder Steve Jobs and then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt much attention. After an employee of Google’s HR department had addressed an Apple developer by e-mail to Jobs complained to Schmidt. The reaction was hard from: Google assured that the woman be fired immediately and something should not recur
Google and Apple were at that time, before they when the dispute about the mobile operating system Android ripped apart, yet more partners. rivals. With the bargain they wanted to avoid a contest for employees. The later declared illegal Abwerbestopp also joined the chip manufacturer Intel, the software company Adobe and Intuit, the “Star Wars” studio Lucasfilm and Pixar animator. Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar agreed previously with the plaintiffs.