After adamantly claiming that Steve Jobs really was not a tosspot who collided with other IT industry toss pots to stuff up worker’s careers, Apple has finally backed down.
Apple has joined three major Silicon Valley companies have formally agreed to pay $324.5 million to settle claims brought by employees who accused them of limiting competition by colluding not to poach each other's talent. The settlement has been signed by Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe and representatives for more than 64,000 workers.
US District Judge Lucy Koh has been asked to approve the accord at a June 19 hearing, over an objection by one of the four named plaintiffs, Michael Devine, who says the settlement let the companies off too easily. The settlement gives workers only a few thousand dollars each on average and given that the companies' combined profit in their latest fiscal years was about $60 billion it is small potatoes.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs may take a quarter of the settlement amount in legal fees.
The lawsuit accused Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to limit competition and keep wages down for engineers, programmers and other technical staff. The case was closely watched because of the potential $9 billion of damages sought, and its embarrassing revelations into how Steve Jobs treated his staff.
Emails from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs showed him bullying Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt for daring to hire former Apple employees and demanding that they be fired.