Judge Says Apple, Google Likely Conspired But No Case Yet

A federal judge ruled there was a significant amount of evidence that could prove that several Silicon Valley companies conspired to not poach workers from each other, but as a class-action case it needs work.

In a 53-page ruling filed shortly after midnight Friday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose found that there was enough evidence to prove the companies had side deals, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The companies named in the lawsuit are Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar and are accused of antitrust violations of conspiring not to hire each other's workers.

However, Koh was also deciding if the case should go to trial as a class-action suit and so far, she said, it needs work. Koh said the lawsuit may be framed too generally, so she asked the plaintiffs to refile the case to make it more specific to address her concerns. The class-action would be on behalf of 100,000 employees. The seven companies have already settled antitrust claims with the U.S. Justice Department.

If all goes well, the class-action suit will proceed next year.

If all goes according to plan, it seems those 100,000 workers will receive compensation, but at what rate? Millions of dollars still split 100,000 ways is small, especially minus the hefty lawyer fees.
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