Silicon Valley hasn’t got away with its no-poaching cartel just yet


On Friday, a judge in San Jose took the rare step of rejecting a $324.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over whether Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel conspired not to hire each other’s employees—an anti-competitive practice that it is alleged to have kept salaries of 64,000 eligible employees artificially low. The rejection vindicated Michael Devine, one of the four named plaintiffs in the suit, who wrote to the judge and asked her to reject the deal negotiated by his own lawyers because of the paltry terms.

Judge Lucy Koh said in her 32-page decision (uploaded by Pando) that “the court cannot conclude that the instant settlement falls within the range of reasonableness.”  (The suit previously included Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, the animated film giant that once gave us a searing indictment of restrictive employment practices set in the kitchens of Paris.)

The lawsuit covers the period between between 2005 and 2009 but…

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