Silicon Valley big four anti-trust lawsuit close to closure

An anti-trust lawsuit with Google, Apple, Adobe Systems and Intel in the middle will soon get closure, cNet reports.

Federal Judge Lucy Koh seems to support the settlement proposed by the Silicon Valley four, even though the final approval hearing is scheduled for July this year, San Hose Mercury News reports.

The four companies were accused of conspiring not to hire each other’s employees to keep the wages low. They agreed to pay $415 million (£270 million) in damages.

Judge Koh had rejected the companies’ $324.5 million (£211 million) offer in August, saying the employees harmed by the no-poaching policy deserved more.

The new proposed settlement was revealed in a motion filed by the companies in January at the US District Court in San Jose, California.

The four companies have yet to give comment on the matter.

The whole case started in 2011, when former employees filed a lawsuit saying Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar Animation Studios, together with the four companies named above, were carrying out an “interconnected web” of agreements between 2005 and 2009.

The agreements were not to hire each other’s employees in order to keep the wages down.

Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar Animation Studios settled in 2013 and paid $20 million (£13 million), covering eight per cent of the employees named in the lawsuit.

Judge Koh rejected the four’s initial offer of $324.5 million, saying the employees deserve at least $380 million (£247 million).

A court filing from 2012 had shown some e-mails between Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs and Google’s CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, in which they talk about not hiring Apple’s engineers.