Tech Giants’ Anti-Poaching Suit Settlement Finally Approved.

It looks like the anti-poaching saga for Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe is finally over. We previously reported on a proposed settlement of the case and the court’s rejection of that settlement. By way of refresher, the Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit alleged that the four Silicon Valley companies agreed to not poach each others’ employees which, in effect, formed an anti-competitive cabal that kept software engineers’ wages down.  After rejecting a prior proposed settlement of $325 million, the court has now approved a $415 million settlement.

The settlement covers more than 60,000 workers in the class. The net effect is that the settlement will provide payouts of approximately $5,000 per plaintiff. Not an insignificant amount of money, but certainly not a windfall for the types of employees whose wages were allegedly suppressed. However, it’s not as though no one received a windfall. The settlement provides for approximately $40 million in fees to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. Lest you think $40 million in attorneys’ fees is unreasonable, this number was down from the $81 million in fees originally requested. Apparently, the court had the good sense to cut fees in half.

It looks like Adobe was the only company to comment on the settlement, telling

Adobe firmly believes that our recruiting policies have in no way diminished competition for talent in the marketplace. Adobe strongly denies that it violated any laws or engaged in any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, we elected to settle this matter in order to avoid the uncertainties, cost and distraction of litigation. We are pleased to have the matter resolved.

How about that?

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