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$20 Million Settlement Domino Falls In High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, With More On The Brink

Posted  May 22, 2014

By David Golden

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted the motion of plaintiffs in In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation for final approval of class action settlements with Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit for $20 million.

The court’s final approval of these settlements follows the recent announcement of another, much larger, proposed settlement in the same lawsuit with tech heavyweights Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe Systems.  That settlement is reported to total $324 million.

The class action complaint alleges that several high-profile companies conspired to fix wages and eliminate competition for workers in high-tech industries.  The case has received considerable media attention because of allegations that Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, was centrally involved in the conspiracy at both Pixar and Apple.  In an unusual twist, one of the named class representatives recently objected to the proposed settlement with Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe.  The court has scheduled a hearing regarding preliminary approval of that settlement for June 19, 2014.

The court’s order granting final approval to the $20 million settlement offers a glimpse into the scope of the antitrust litigation, which has lasted more than three years.  Plaintiffs’ counsel reviewed more than three million pages of documents, participated in approximately 100 depositions, and analyzed more than 15 gigabytes of compensation and recruiting data.  The court described the discovery process as “thorough.”

Edited by Gary J. Malone

Tagged in: Antitrust Litigation,