Apple Inc (AAPL) And Google Inc (GOOG) Employee Poaching Lawsuit Likely To End In New Deal

A 2011 lawsuit by prized engineers, questioning the motive behind four of the leading technology companies, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) and Abode Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE). The plaintiffs in a lawsuit before US District Judge Lucy Koh, in Californian San Jose, accused the named technology companies of gagging job mobility, which in turn helped in limiting the salaries.

The course of the lawsuit has been of immense interest across the technology industry as the ruling would affect most of the big-name technology companies.

Further interest is in the size of the ‘damage’ awarded by the Judge.

Earlier in 2013, Judge Koh had rejected a settlement sought for $324.5 million, stating the offer was too low; in conjunction with an objection raised by one of the plaintiffs, Daniel Girard. The amount which Girard settled for is yet to be disclosed.

The lawsuits were based on emails exchanged by officials of the leading technology companies, including Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs and Google Inc’, then CEO Eric Schmidt. The emails outline the intent between the heads of the technology companies, (despite their rivalry) to desist from poaching engineers.

Judge Koh rejection of the offer of $324.5 million is based on a similar lawsuit settlement between Disney and Intuit. Inferring, the employees of Apple Inc and Google received lesser pay as against the earnings of Disney workers. Koh remarked that lawyers of the plaintiff could seek higher leverage considering the company’s in question are Apple and Google.

Judge Koh has proposed that the settlement would necessarily be in the region of $380 million, in-line with the precedent set by the earlier settlement.

On Tuesday, as per a court filing, a new and detailed version of the likely deal is to be presented at the ‘earliest.’ Following which, Judge Koh is expected to give her ruling. It is unsure whether Judge Koh would accept or reject the new settlement offered.