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Tech Companies Reach New Settlement in Anti-Poaching Cases

Posted in Covenants Not to Compete in California, Hiring a Competitor’s Employees, Other Restrictive Covenants, Protecting Trade Secrets and Other Business Information, Unfair Competition

This blog has previously reported on the anti-poaching cases involving various tech companies in Silicon Valley.  The cases arise out of alleged agreements between various tech companies not to recruit each other’s employees.  The U.S. Department of Justice brought antitrust actions as a result of these alleged agreements which resulted in the companies entering into settlements with the government.  In addition to the government’s actions, a class action was filed on behalf of tech employees claiming these “anti-poaching” agreements harmed their earning ability and mobility.

Last year, various tech companies entered into a settlement of these claims for approximately $325 million.  That settlement was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh as not being “within the range of reasonableness.”  Earlier this week, the parties to this class action announced that they had entered into a new settlement with Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe proposing to pay $415 million to settle the class action.  The settlement will be submitted to Judge Koh for approval.  If the settlement is not approved, the case is currently set to go to trial this spring.

More details concerning the proposed settlement can be found at the following New York Times Article, “Bigger Settlement Said to Be Reached in Silicon Valley Antitrust Case,” dated January 14, 2015.