Apple, Google and four other Silicon Valley companies have failed to push forward a US$324.5 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit by workers who accused the firms of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees.
A United States district judge rejected the proposal, saying the settlement is too low, given the strength of the case against the defendants, Reuters reported Monday.
Intel and Adobe are also part of the proposed deal.
In their 2011 lawsuit, the tech employees said the conspiracy had limited their job mobility and kept a lid on salaries.
The case was based largely on e-mails in which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and some of their rivals agreed to avoid poaching each other’s prized engineers.
US District Judge Lucy Koh said Jobs was a key figure in the alleged conspiracy.
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