Apple, Google seek approval for $324.5M wage-fixing settlement

Court documents reveal the settlement terms for the lawsuit involving several tech giants accused of fixing wages.

Donna Tam
Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.

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Silicon Valley powerhouses including Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have agreed to pay $324.5 million to the plaintiffs who accused the companies of using noncompetitive hiring practices to keep wages low.

Though the settlement figure was previously reported, court documents filed Thursday night confirmed the amount. The proposed settlement will now go to US District Judge Lucy Koh for approval.

The class-action lawsuit covered nearly 65,000 employees and was set to go to trial at the end of this month. The plaintiffs originally planned to seek $3 billion. One plaintiff has spoken out against the amount, saying it's not nearly enough. The $324.5 million amount will equal a few thousand dollars per employee covered under the suit.

The case, which also involved Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Intuit, started in 2001 when a former Lucasfilm software engineer filed a lawsuit alleging that the seven companies were conspiring to keep wages low by refraining from poaching one another's employees. Several similar complaints followed and they were all consolidated into a class-action lawsuit that covered employees who worked for the companies between 2005 and 2010.

Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Intuit settled last year for a combined $20 million, covering 8 percent of the employees named in the suit.

Proposed tech wage-fixing settlement