San Francisco: Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Systems have settled a class-action lawsuit alleging they conspired to prevent their engineers and other highly sought technology workers from getting better job offers from one another.
The agreement announced Thursday averts a Silicon Valley trial that threatened to expose the tactics deployed by billionaire executives such as late Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs and former Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt to corral less affluent employees working on a variety of products and online services. Had they lost, the companies also faced the prospect of paying as much as $9 billion.
The trial had been scheduled to begin May 27 in San Jose, Calif.
Terms of the settlement aren't being revealed yet. Those details will be provided in documents that will be filed in court by May 27, according to Kelly Dermody, an attorney representing the workers who contended they were cheated out of bigger paychecks.
“This is an excellent resolution,” Dermody said in a prepared statement.
Robert Van Nest, an attorney who notified the court of the settlement on behalf of all the employers, declined to comment.
Google and Apple declined to comment, too.
Intel Corp. spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the chipmaker denies any wrongdoing, but chose to settle to “to avoid the risks, burdens and uncertainties of ongoing litigation.”