The giants of Silicon Valley have bowed to their employees and settled an antitrust case brought against them over back-room deals to not hire from each other. The settlement, first reported by Reuters, brings to an end a legal battle that could have cost Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe billions of dollars and dragged them publicly into court. The terms of the deal were no disclosed.

Documents revealed in the course of investigation showed that the four companies had arranged secret deals to avoid hiring employees away from each other. The practice meant that the companies would not have to worry about their employees being poached, but it also had an impact on what employees could get for pay (thanks to reduced competition for their services). Additionally, some found it difficult to get jobs at competing firms thanks to these agreements so long as they were employed by a company party to the deal.

The settlement means that Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel will avoid going to court. The trial had been scheduled to begin in May. As a class action suit, approximately 60,000 employees would have qualified for a pay-out.

Source: Reuters

There are 18 comments

NoYankees44 says:

Dont Be Evil Google

I am very disappointed that this happened...

Johnny Z says:

That's the first thing I thought while reading this. I can understand Apple, but...

Posted via my Moto X (Sorry Nexus 5, too many issues)

brutos08 says:

Right..... so execs can move between companies but not the little guys

Posted via Android Central App

Joel E says:

Hm... good point. .

Posted from my caseless GS5. Because I believe in myself.

Well, as the story insinuates, this is really not about company secrets, it's about them finding a good excuse to keep the salaries down. Yay! More bonuses for the bosses thanks to this cost saving deal... :)

NoNexus says:

The no compete lives on so this really doesn't matter that much

Posted via Android Central App

Sicily1918 says:

Except that non-competes are non-enforceable in California... this was a great way to get around that.

Wtf. This is a dumbass deal.

Gator352 says:

How is that as the terms are not disclosed?

The smartass is a smartass.

Gator352 says:

I resemble that remark :)

Posted via the porcelain throne.

TheDu9du says:

Short story short: lawyers settled and now lawyers are rich(er).

There are millions of other people they didn't hire. Do we get settlements too?

SlimJ87D says:

Most likely you just weren't qualified. I dont' think that is part of the settlement or every big company would have to pay every person they rejected.

abbott says:

Technically this could have only helped their chances

Timelessblur says:

basically what ever they end up paying it is not enough. ANYONE who works in the industry should be pissed about this as it suppressed wages for all of us.

They should be paying out a lot more than any potential savings they would of gotten plus interest and fair amount of penalties on top of it. They need to be made a massive example out of no one would even consider doing it again.

mwara244 says:

Reminds me of movie studios that used to do this back in the 20's-50's, but then they would pay each other off to borrow actors (employees) and or trade off to each other. But it was only with contracted actors, who basically signed their lives away to work with the big studios. Kind of surprised they didn't do this anyways since a lot of their employees are contracted anyways, except for low level worker bees.

mwara244 says:

So now what happens to those employees at these companies? If they are still working there they get ridden hard and then put away wet till they quit or are written up so many times they are fired for frivolous things? I doubt they could keep anonymity through out this ordeal.

I'm really curious how they got the facts that there was a secret deal between these companies because it would of been kept hidden at the Executive level, unless some IT guy came in to fix a PC and stumbled across it or some one blurted it out drunk at a christmas party.